Bullying Hub




Massachusetts Governor Signs Anti-Bullying Bill Into Law Strengthening Protections for LGBT Students

Patrick

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick today signed an anti-bullying bill into law strengthening protections for LGBT students and students with disabilities, the Boston Herald reports.

GLSEN applauded the law:

“As the 17th state to pass inclusive anti-bullying legislation, Massachusetts is sending an impactful message to its LGBT youth,” said Dr. Eliza Byard, GLSEN’s Executive Director. “LGBT students in Massachusetts can feel confident their educators are committed to providing them with the safe and inclusive school environments they deserve. GLSEN looks forward to the day when every student in every school in the country can feel just as supported.”

H. 3909, “An Act Relative to Bullying in Schools,” will update existing anti-bullying legislation by requiring every district to include specific protections in their bullying prevention plan recognizing frequently targeted groups, including LGBT youth.

The legislation will also implement two key methods of tracking incidences of bullying: a student survey to be conducted every four years gathering information about school safety and climate, and a data collection and reporting mechanism allowing officials to better measure and evaluate the impact of anti-bullying efforts.

The Massachusetts House and Senate approved the bill in February and March, respectively. Gov. Patrick, a longtime supporter of bullying prevention initiatives such as a limited 2010 law designed to help educators report, prevent and address bullying, signed the bill in a ceremony today.

(image via twitter senator sonia chang-diaz)


Nebraska Elementary School Tells Bullied Students to Suck it Up and Not Snitch

Zeman elm

A disturbing piece of news out of Lincoln, Nebraska where administrators at the Zeman Elementary School apparently thought it would be useful to send the above flyer home with students to help them deal with bullying.

Among the flyer’s gems of wisdom:

Treat the person who is being mean as if they are trying to help you. No matter how insulting or mean they may sound, be grateful and think they really care about you.

Do not verbally defend yourself. When one person attacks and the other person is the defender, the attacker is in the stronger position, so the defender is automatically the loser.

Do not tell on bullies. The number one reason bullies hate their victims is because the victims tell on them. Telling makes the bully want to retaliate. Tell an adult only when real injury or crime (theft of something valuable) has occurred.

Naturally, the s**t hit the fan when this flyer found its way to the internet. The school’s principal, Donna Williams, has issued a letter to parents and students now claiming it was all just a “miscommunication,” and that the district really does take bullying seriously.

Sounds like a violation of Rule #4 if you ask me…

[via Aksarbent]


4 Oregon Students Respond to Anti-Bullying Day at School with 'Gay is Not Ok' T-Shirts: VIDEO

Gayday

Friday was the national student anti-bullying "Day of Silence" in which students took a vow of silence to raise awareness about bullying. Four students in Oregon City, Oregon decided to respond with their own protest:

They wore T-shirts to school that said, "Gay Is Not Ok" and "Gay Day Is Not OK," which is a reference to Day of Silence. They sought out a KATU reporter to be interviewed.

Said one student: I don't have a big problem with gay people. It's just when they start parading around the school about how 'we have a day of silence for gays, lesbians, transvestites'. It's like, we don't have a straight day."

Watch KATU's interview with the students, AFTER THE JUMP...

Youngbigot

Continue reading "4 Oregon Students Respond to Anti-Bullying Day at School with 'Gay is Not Ok' T-Shirts: VIDEO" »


Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton Signs Tougher Anti-Bullying Bill into Law: VIDEO

Dayton

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton today sign a bill strengthening the state's anti-bullying bill after the legislature passed it in a late night session Tuesday night, WCCO reports:

The bill requires school districts to track and investigate cases of bullying and directs schools to better train staff and teachers on how to prevent it. Current law requires school districts to have a bullying policy but doesn’t include details on what the policy should contain.

...The far-reaching law includes 19 bullying categories, from physical appearance to welfare families to sexual orientation and gender identity.

Watch Dayton sign the bill in WCCO's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton Signs Tougher Anti-Bullying Bill into Law: VIDEO" »


Bullied Boy Can Wear 'My Little Pony' Backpack, School Says

Bruce

Earlier this week we reported on 9-year-old Grayson Bruce, a student in Asheville, NC who was taunted by his classmates for wearing a "My Little Pony" backpack and then told by his school that he couldn't wear it because it is a "trigger for bullying".

Grayson's story received national attention and now the school has reconsidered after meeting with Grayson's mother on Thursday, USA Today reports:

"We are considering all options for getting Grayson back in school," Bruce said after the meeting. "We are pleased the school system is working closely with us. All of the options include Grayson taking his My Little Pony bag to school."

...Bruce met with superintendent Tony Baldwin and director of student services David Thompson, after which she said she felt "much better."

"We had a real heart-to-heart talk," Bruce said. "I strongly feel we can work together to make things better for Grayson and all the students in our school system."

Bruce said she will work with Thompson to help organize a parent advisory council on bullying.


Arkansas Student Excluded from Yearbook for Being Gay Faces New Bullying from Peers, Teachers

Taylor_ellis

Over the past few days we've bee reporting on Taylor Ellis. Ellis's school, Sheridan High School is refusing to run a yearbook profile on Ellis because he's openly gay.

Chad_griffinThe disgusting censorship led to the Human Rights Campaign staging a rally at the Arkansas State Capitol demanding the school change its mind. Instead, the school administrators dug in their heels. Ellis's case is now drawing national attention and has been featured on CNN.

Sheridan School District Superintendent Brenda Haynes released a statement:

Haynes“We must make decisions that lead in the proper direction for all of our students and for our community. We must not make decisions based on demands by any special interest group. The seven profiles will not be published in the yearbook...It is clear that the adults who have the responsibility for the operation of the district have the obligation to make decisions which are consistent with the mission of our school. We have done so."

But what's happening back at school is even more disgusting. Ellis tells Slate:

T_ellisToday was my first day back [after a school trip]. People were talking about it while we were on our trip, texting all of us, making comments. I was about to lose it...

At first, everybody kept quiet. I’m in choir—that’s a good group. All the guys were nice. People were telling me I’m doing a good thing. My teacher said if I had any problems in any other classes I could just come back and sit in her room. … Geometry was fine, too. The teacher was fine with it; she understood and talked to me a little bit. She told me, “it’ll all pass, it’ll all be fine.” She’s a really good teacher. I don’t think she said anything negative to me.

[By] fifth period I was ready for the day to be over. All these people were negative, quiet—just weird.  I was ready to be home, just trying to get away from everything. Then I got in the Instagram page someone made that said “Sheridan School = No Gays.” I was looking at all the people [at Sheridan] who liked it and who followed it—people I don’t need to talk to. Three of them were in that class, sitting right across from the room from me.

A screenshot of the page, which is still live, is below. Ellis adds:

I asked [a few other students] why they were following this hate page [on Instagram]. And my teacher said, you don’t need to be talking about that in class. You need to go sit down. You have assignments to do. This teacher has never gotten onto me, never had a problem with me. But now she just kept saying stuff and I was just sitting there, shaking and crying. That’s what I do when I get mad—I shake and cry.

Stay strong. Taylor. We are with you.

Nogays


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