All students need a safe, supportive atmosphere in which they can learn, including students that are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). Unfortunately, bullying, harassment, and discrimination against LGBT students occurs often in our schools. As these students face verbal and physical harassment; educators, policy makers, parents, and other students are hampered by the lack of quality information and resources to protect LGBT students.

However, over the past several years, Iowa has made significant progress in helping create safer schools for LGBT students. Iowa became the 10th state in the nation to pass a comprehensive Safe Schools Law that protects ALL students in 2007. Including the Safe Schools Law was the extension of the Civil Rights law which protects LGBT school staff members from discrimination. Governor Culver, Lt. Governor Judge, and legislative leaders all made historic passage of these laws a reality.

But, work remains to be done to protect all students from bullying, harassment, and discrimination. Laws are only good if enforcement and education follows.

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