Clay Aiken backs anti-bullying legislation
 

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posted Friday, November 26, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 48

Clay Aiken backs anti-bullying legislation
by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Former American Idol star Clay Aiken appeared at a hearing in Washington, D.C. last week to address the issue of Gay bullying.

Aiken, 31, is openly homosexual.

On November 18, Aiken was a speaker at a Capitol Hill briefing, organized by Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) officials to draw public attention to the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act.

The two pieces of legislation would require school officials across the U.S. to address bullying and harassment aimed at LGBTQ students.

Aiken made an impassioned plea for lawmakers to pass the bills. He used his own childhood experiences of bullying as an example of why LGBTQ students need safeguarding.

He told the hearing, 'Like many kids now in middle schools and high schools, I was bullied. I was picked on, I was called 'Gay,' I was called 'faggot,' I was called 'sissy' - you name it. Fortunately, I was able to overcome it and live through it because of a number of friends who were supportive of me.'

'We need federal leadership from Congress to encourage all states and districts and each and every school to create safe learning environments where all students can learn and succeed,' Aiken concluded.



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