Student Non-Discrimination Act


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Illinois Sponsor

  • U.S. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL)


The Student Non-Discrimination Act prohibits public school students from being excluded from participating in, or subject to discrimination under, any federally assisted educational program on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity or that of their associates. Considers harassment to be a form of discrimination. HR 998 was introduced by U.S. Representative Jared Polis on March 10, 2011 and referred to House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education on March 21, 2011.

Goals and Purposes of HR 998

  • Authorizes federal departments and agencies to enforce these prohibitions, such as discrimination or exclusion, by cutting off the educational assistance of recipients found to be violating them.
  • Brings the prevention of discrimination in public schools to a federal level and invokes congressional powers for this cause.

How HR 998 Benefits Youth

  • Ensures that students have access to public education in a safe environment free from discrimination, harassment, bullying, and violence, creating more incentive for students to stay in school and complete their education.
  • Highlights the prevalence of perceived sexual orientation and gender identity, a commonly overlooked cause of discrimination and bullying.

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June 2012

Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health
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