Bullying bill hits legislation in New York
Possibly just in time for back to school, last week Republicans introduced a bill to the Senate the stop bullying in schools. The bill includes language to cover harassment of students based on sexual orientation as well as transgender students in public schools. As one gay-rghts activist noted, youth are becoing increasingly comfortable with coming out of the closet at an early age. As a result, they can suffer harassment--and worse--and need protection.
According to a representative of Senate majority leader Dean G. Skelos, the bill was in direct competition with tax relief and was not to be discussed at last Friday's special session. The bill could be given the opportunity to be introduced at another session later in the month, and most likely will as it would be unusual for a bill to be entered this time of year without the intention of getting it passed.
If it goes through, New York will be the eleventh state to introduce and adopt a bullying bill. Legislation was originally introduced in 1999 but didn't make it far as critics were uncomfortable using language regarding transgendered students, who would be protected under the current bill. The gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities have long been calling for such legislation.
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