Yesterday every celebrity and queer person in the universe wore purple to show how much they support LGBT youth. Meanwhile, two Senate bills that would have actually helped stop bullying died quietly without much fanfare. Sorta ironic.
On Thursday the Senate Health, Education, Education & Pensions (HELP) Committee passed a massive education bill known as Elementary & Secondary Education Act with a bi-partisan vote of 15-7. However, the committee did not vote on whether to include Senator Al Franken’s Student Non-Discrimination Act nor Senator Bob Casey’s Safe Schools Improvement Act.
The Student Non-Discrimination Act would have been a comprehensive federal prohibition of discrimination in public schools against any students regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or any instance of bullying. The Safe Schools Improvement Act would have implemented nationwide strategies to help schools identify, prevent, promptly address, and keep stats on bullying.
The bills could have gotten out of committee with the twelve votes necessary. But both men left their sponsored acts out of the bill when they realized that neither would get the 60 bipartisan votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.
Makes you wonder if all that purple spirit would have been better expended shaming Republicans into preventing the next wave of teen bullycides.
Image via Marcus Q