murphy 050423 kidsSPRINGFIELD – To address racial discrimination in schools, State Senator Laura Murphy is leading a measure that would increase protections for students.

“Our schools have a duty to care for their students, and more importantly make students feel safe,” said Murphy (D-Des Plaines). “No child should have to face discrimination based on their race, the color of their skin, or their national origin.”

Under the measure, each school district would be required to create, implement, and maintain at least one written policy that prohibits discrimination and harassment against students based on race, color, or national origin. Additionally, the policy would include language prohibiting retaliation against students for submitting a complaint.

In a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, an estimated 5.2 million students aged 12 to 18 were bullied in the 2018-2019 school year. One in 4 of those students experienced bullying related to their race, national origin, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation. In the same school year, the report says there were 1.6 million students who were subjected to hate speech due to their identity. Among those incidents, half targeted students’ race and 24% related to their national origin.

“Illinois already does a great deal to protect our students, but this bill takes it a step further by giving our schools the tools they need to provide greater protections to students,” said Murphy. “It’s imperative to end racial discrimination in our schools.”

Senate Bill 90 passed the Senate Education committee Tuesday. It now goes to the Senate for further consideration.