Today, HRC praised Hillary Clinton’s just-announced “Better than Bullying” initiative, which aims to provide students, families and educators with resources to better combat the epidemic of bullying in our nation’s schools. The effort, which would include $500 million of funding in states all over the country, explicitly includes policies that would protect and provide resources for LGBTQ students and their families. LGBTQ students, and especially trans youth, disproportionately face bullying in schools. In 2012, the HRC Foundation surveyed 10,000 LGBTQ youth about the difficulties they face at school and at home. The survey found that three-quarters of transgender students feel unsafe in school settings. It also found that LGBTQ youth are about twice as likely as non-LGBTQ youth to be excluded for being different (48 percent), to be verbally harassed (51 percent) or physically attacked (17 percent) at school.
“As Donald Trump’s rhetoric continues to foment violence and encourage division among Americans of all ages, Hillary Clinton is bringing real solutions to fight the bullying and abuse that so many LGBTQ youth face on a daily basis,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “We know from our own research and work in schools that growing up LGBTQ in America today is not easy. Hillary Clinton’s comprehensive anti-bullying plan is a crucial and welcome step toward improving the lives of our youngest, most vulnerable Americans.”
Clinton’s plan includes the development of comprehensive anti-bullying laws and policies, specifically to address bullying on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and religion; addresses cyberbullying; provides resources to educators to address and head-off bullying before it escalates; provides increased resources in schools for victims of bullying; and promotes further behavioral health programming in schools. The plan allows for states to tailor their own policies and programs based upon local communities’ needs.
HRC’s Welcoming Schools works to combat bullying and build safe and welcoming elementary schools across America with trainings for schools and resources for parents, teachers, and administrators. Recently, Welcoming Schools released a Back-to-School Guide to equip parents, teachers, and allies of transgender students with information and resources to ensure that their schools are welcoming and safe for LGBTQ — and particularly transgender — youth and the children of LGBTQ parents.
HRC endorsed Hillary Clinton in January of 2016. With 1.5 million members and supporters nationwide, HRC is implementing an unprecedented organizational effort to register and mobilize the nation’s pro-equality majority, and elect pro-LGBTQ candidates up and down the ballot. In 2016, HRC expects that the pro-equality vote will be larger, stronger, and more energized than at any point in history.