Friday, April 8, 2011

Making Dignity for All Students a Reality

Thanks to you we passed a landmark piece of legislation last year to protect all students, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and for the first time transgender youth, from bullying, discrimination and harassment. Now it’s time to put that law into action. Today the State Education Department takes an important step in implementing the Dignity for All Students Act. They are convening a statewide task force consisting of a wide range of stakeholders including teachers, students, parents, school administrators, advocates and state and local education officials to develop policies that aim to make schools harassment- and discrimination-free environments. The Pride Agenda is a member of that task force.

This is where the rubber hits the road. Now we need you to help make sure the anti-bullying law is implemented in YOUR community. Passing laws is only part of the battle. One thing you can do to make sure our government knows we’re watching is to come to Albany and personally thank the overwhelming majority of legislators who voted for Dignity. Register for Equality & Justice Day on Monday, May 9.

This year’s Equality & Justice Day will include workshops about how to get involved in the work of actually implementing the anti-bullying in your community. You will also meet other proud New Yorkers from across the state who care about school safety and student rights.

The Pride Agenda had been working on Dignity for All Students for almost a decade before the law finally passed, and the LGBT community in New York is all too aware that our work is far from over. Much needs to be done before we can claim more legislative victories like this one, from marriage to a law finally protecting the most basic of civil rights for transgender New Yorkers. We’re on the cusp of equality, but if we want to see more progress this year, each and every pro-LGBT New Yorker needs to stand up and speak out. Sign up today.

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