Oregon lawmakers are advancing a bill that aims to create more support for LGBTQ+ students.
Senate Bill 52 would require the Oregon Department of Education to develop a plan to address disparities in achievements experienced by students who identify as LGBTQ or other minority gender orientations.
Advocates say such students are more likely to miss school out of fear of bullying or harassment, and that can lead to negative outcomes in the classroom.
Sen. Kate Lieber, D-Portland, said her own experience coming out as a teenager makes her think other kids could benefit from enhanced educational support.
“Middle school and high school can be a difficult time in our lives," she said. "I daresay no one here would want to go back. But being different from the norm does not make that experience any easier.”
The bill passed the Senate 21-to-8 and now heads to the Oregon House