Dear Honorable Senator Tillis,
As a student who has experience and witnessed instances of gender-based violence we strive each day to reduce the occurrence of these unfortunate events. The number of students that experience this type of violence while trying to further their education is unacceptable. As a community need to back up these survivors of violence, we urge you to strongly enforce Title IX. The federal law outlaws sex discrimination in education. Enforcement is key to make sure that the survivors feel like they are getting justice.
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Gender-based violence moves students across the country regularly, whether they are getting an acquaintance’s tearful telephone call, sitting down with a friend trying to circumnavigate what happened to them, or telling private stories. Over the past couple of years, student activists have used their human rights under Title IX to alter how schools and the national government reports on gender-based violence.
However, despite the progress we have made, violence continues to imperil students’ access to education. One of the most alarming facts is that many K-12 students experience gender-based violence.
This violence may have overwhelming penalties. After the violence occurs some survivors may withdraw from their education and struggle with depression. If the survivor does not have the proper support, they may start to struggle with keeping their grades up. Some survivors may even leave the school because they are uncomfortable going back at the chance to see the teacher/professor again.
No one should ever have to experience violence based on their gender. Schools must not ignore the threats that students face at the fear that if they tell it will be imped upon their education. We as a society must acknowledge the rights of these students to feel safe in their learning environment.
School systems need to be able to recognize any form of coercion or harassment and be able to take appropriate steps. Make sure that schools are being gender-inclusive and that no matter a student’s gender identity that they feel safe.
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