Monday, June 30, 2008

ACTION ALERT: Call Your Representative Today!!

Take Action Today – Call or Email Your Representative Today

House Bill 1366 - School Violence Prevention Act

The North Carolina House will hold a critical vote on House Bill 1366, the School Violence Prevention Act, as early as this Wednesday, July 2.

As you may remember, last year the House passed this important bill to address bullying, but the Senate stripped out critical language that addresses bullying based on race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and other categories. We know this language is needed to make sure our most vulnerable students are fully protected.

This week the House will be voting on whether to accept or reject the Senate's weakened version of this legislation.

We need your help to ensure that House votes not to concur with the Senate, so a conference committee can work to pass the strongest possible bill. Please, take a moment right now to email your legislator.

Take Action:
Email or Call Your Representative Today.

Tell Them:
-To vote NOT to concur with the Senate version of HB 1366: School Violence Prevention Act so that a conference committee can ensure that we have the strongest possible law to address the epidemic of bullying in our schools.

-Research has demonstrated that including this language makes students feel safer, and makes teachers and school staff more likely to intervene.

Why Enumeration of Categories is important to Students with Disabilities:

Seventy-eight students with disabilities, who gathered in Raleigh during the summer of 2006, discussed their experiences dealing with bullying and harassment while attending school. These young leaders recognized the importance of creating legislation that would create a protected category for students with disabilities.

This legislation will support students with disabilities by utilizing the protected categories as a self-advocacy tool. Students with disabilities will be able to look to this legislation as their right to be protected from bullying and harassment.

Enumeration of protected categories is a clear sign that all students, regardless of differences in characteristics, appearance, or ability are valued and deserve protection.

Just to remind you how important this legislation is we are sharing this reflection from a North Carolina Youth Leadership Network member and advocate:

“Being a person living a life with a disability can be difficult especially if the disability is visible. A person who does not walk straight or does not speak clearly is a target for bullies in the education system. As a student in their junior year of high school, people would think there would be an understanding and the teasing would decease but that is not the situation.”

No comments: