NY Governor Paterson Signs Act To Protect Students

Charles Robbins, Executive Director of The Trevor Project, the nation’s leading organization focused on crisis intervention and suicide prevention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth, made the following statement in response to Governor David Paterson’s signing into law the inclusive Dignity for All Students Act in New York:

“Today, Governor Paterson signed into law an assurance of protection from bullying and harassment for all students, regardless of real or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, and sex in publicly funded schools in New York.

The law would make New York one of more than 40 states with anti-bullying laws, 14 of which plus the District of Columbia provide inclusive protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. When youth are threatened at school, or their property gets stolen at school, and they fight at school, the odds that they will attempt suicide more than double. Considering more than half of sexual minority youth in schools have been verbally harassed and one in ten is physically assaulted, the Dignity for All Students Act with the inclusion of gender identity and expression will be a giant step to reducing instances of self-harm and suicide that result from harassment by school peers.”

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization focused on crisis intervention and suicide prevention efforts among LGBTQ youth. Every day, The Trevor Project saves young lives through its free and confidential lifeline, in-school workshops, educational materials, online resources and advocacy. The organization was founded in 1998 by three filmmakers whose film, “Trevor,” a comedy/drama about a gay teenager who attempts suicide, received the 1994 Academy Award® for Best Short Film (Live Action). For more information, visit Trevor project .