October 26 2010

October 26, 2010

Sherria Cotton
(202) 785-1670

Washington, DC—NCLR (National Council of La Raza), the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, today commended the U.S. Department of Education and the Obama administration on the release of national guidelines that help determine when student bullying violates federal anti-discrimination laws. The department took this step in response to the growing bullying and harassment crisis in America’s schools.

“We are deeply concerned with the recent increase in the bullying and harassment of vulnerable kids. Latinos are among the many youth being targeted for attack, especially as anti-Hispanic and anti-immigrant rhetoric proliferates,” said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía. “Discrimination, racial profiling, and ethnic stereotyping can have dangerous, long-term consequences for young people. We applaud Secretary Duncan and the Department of Education for taking this important step in protecting our children.”

NCLR recently released a report titled Speaking Out: Latino Youth on Discrimination in the United States, which captures Hispanic students’ pervasive sense of being negatively stereotyped by teachers, administrators, peers, law enforcement, and others based on their appearance and perceived ethnic background. The youth revealed that they feel overlooked, excluded, and negatively tracked and that this results in unequal opportunities for educational success.

NCLR encourages the Department of Education and the administration to continue working with an eye toward the distinct needs of Latinos. Specifically, NCLR supports creating a climate that is safe and healthy for Latino youth by:

  • Providing resources and professional development for teachers to help them better serve students of diverse backgrounds
  • Strengthening family engagement and outreach programs that help parents become advocates for their children, especially if they are experiencing racism or harassment at school
  • Investing in programs that promote community cohesion, particularly among law enforcement and Hispanic youth

“The future of our nation depends on the physical and mental well-being of today’s young people. By giving our youth full support and protecting students against bullying and harassment, we will help ensure a healthy learning environment and safer communities,” concluded Murguía.


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