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Chu Commends DOE's Anti-Bullying Efforts

October 27, 2010
Press Release

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And calls for further protections for LGBT students

WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., applauded the Department of Education’s efforts to protect young people from bullying and harassment.  Yesterday, the Department provided guidance to educators across the country clarifying their legal responsibilities to respond to cases of harassment under civil rights law.

"Every child deserves an education free from bullying, harassment, and discrimination," Chu said.  "It’s the responsibility of educators, and the community at-large, to protect the rights of all young people and foster environments that promote inclusivity and diversity.  This guidance helps ensure that every child can thrive, regardless of his or her background, gender, or physical ability."

Specifically, the guidance enforces statutes that prohibit discriminatory harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex, or disability.  Certain instances involving lesbian, gay, transgendered, and bisexual (LGBT) youth may also be covered under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, if the harassment is based on gender-based discrimination.  However, Chu noted these statutes do not go far enough.

"While the guidance highlights some protections in place for LGBT students, these safeguards must be strengthened and expanded.  Many schools, on their own accord, have adopted anti-bullying policies that expressly include sexual orientation.  In light of the recent wave of anti-gay bullying cases, we must work to extend equal rights and protections for every student."

The guidance, issued by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), is geared towards elementary and secondary schools, but its principles can also be applied to postsecondary institutions overseen by the OCR.  A full copy of the document can be downloaded here: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201010.html.

Representative Judy Chu is a longtime supporter of equal rights for every American and was recently awarded a 100% rating from the Human Rights Campaign for her work in the 111th Congress.  She was elected in July 2009 to the U.S. House of Representatives as the Representative of California’s 32nd District, which includes East Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley.  She is a member of the House Judiciary, Government Oversight, and Education and Labor Committees.

Congresswoman Chu's career in politics spans 24 years.  A lifelong educator, Congresswoman Chu taught community college classes in Los Angeles and East Los Angeles for 20 years. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology and a B.A. in mathematics.