Addressing the problem of school bullying

Posted on 14 May 2010 at 6:00pm

Bullying in schools is a problem everywhere. And the problem is growing.

Last week, Massachusetts passed a new anti-bullying law.

NewsWest9This week, the NBC Midland affiliate ran a decent story on bullying, but while most bullying targets LGBT students, the Channel 9 story only obliquely referred to them.

“Over time, the sexually charged rumors, name-calling and even vandalism became overwhelming for Kaitlin.”

For the full video, go here.

While all bullying should be addressed, studies show laws that cover bullying in a general way are often ignored by school staff when LGBT youth are victims. Laws need to specifically cover LGBT youth for them to be protected.

In Massachusetts, the Boston Globe reports that groups may challenge the new anti-bullying law based on free speech. Apparently, some feel after teaching their children to hate, the kids have a right to practice what they’ve learned.

Anti-bullying legislation has been introduced in the Texas Legislature each session since the early 1990s and in recent years has gotten out of committee, but has not passed. If a current anti-bullying bill authored by Rep. Mark Strama passes in 2011, it would be the first major pro-LGBT legislation to become law in Texas since the hate crimes statute of 2001.

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