In a statement released on his website, Polis said his legislation "puts LGBT students on an equal footing with their peers, so they can attend school and receive a quality education, free from fear. This bill will ensure that every student has the right to an education free from harassment and violence."
The Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network says that as of 2011, more than 80 percent of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, nearly 40 percent said they were physically harassed, and nearly 20 percent said they were physically assaulted at school in the previous year. Moreover, nearly two-thirds of LGBT students reported feeling unsafe at school.
Ros-Lehtinen said after the introduction of the bill that "LGBT students are often verbally harassed due to their sexual orientation. It is important that we strive to make sure that LGBT students enjoy safety as all children do."
The bill has 120 co-sponsors, though all of them, with the exception of Ros-Lehtinen, are Democrats.
In 2010 and 2011, a bill under the same name was introduced by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) in the Senate, where it had 39 co-sponsors. Franken also plans to reintroduce the bill in the coming weeks.