Anti-Bullying Laws Are Being Driven by Gay Rights Advocates

Posted by on August 10, 2010

The politicization of school safety continues to grow as gay rights advocates are driving many anti-bullying laws at the state and federal legislative levels. 

In the past decade, school safety has been politically used and abused for everything from leveraging pubic support to pass school levies under the guise of increasing school safety, to the downplaying of school crime to protect schools’ images.  In recent years, school safety has been turned into a political issue to further gay rights agendas in the form of anti-bullying laws.

This article is not posted for the purpose of serving as an “anti-gay rights” post.  It is written to publicly lay out the political advocacy and tensions behind state and federal anti-bullying laws.  While on the surface to the average parent and educator these proposed laws may appear to be nothing more than a straight-forward attempt to tackle bullying in general, a number of anti-bullying laws are being strongly backed and driven by gay rights advocates. Behind the scenes, there is a huge political advocacy movement which is often unseen by the public eye (parents, the media, etc.).

LGBT ENUMERATION IS THE GOAL FOR MANY ANTI-BULLYING LAWS

The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) advocates strongly for “enumeration” in its two page publication entitled, “Enumeration: A Tool for Advocates.”   In short, enumeration refers to identifying, “…types of individuals or things that need to be protected,” according to the GLSEN advocacy document.  In this case, the focus for enumeration is LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) students.

GLSEN specifically advocates:

“Two of the categories most important to GLSEN are sexual orientation and gender identity.  Any time an anti-bullying and harassment bill is introduced we urge its sponsor to enumerate the kinds of students who must be included within the protection of the law.”

The document lays out a model of a law that includes enumeration:

 “A law that incorporates enumeration might read like this: “Bullying means any gesture or written, verbal or physical act that takes place on school property, bus or off-site location where school activities are taking place, that is reasonably perceived as being motivated either by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental, physical or sensory disability, or by any other distinguishing characteristic or association with a person or group with one or more of the actual or perceived characteristics…”

In contrast, a law that does not include enumeration might read like this: “Bullying means any gesture or written, verbal or physical act against any student that takes place on school property…” 

GLSEN proceeds to put forth five reasons why enumeration is essential. One of the reasons catching my eye:

“Enumeration is essential if laws are to be implemented. History and the Supreme Court tell us that enumerating policies is necessary. Girls would not have sports and our schools would not be integrated if policymakers had not specifically addressed these inequities by enumerating categories like sex and race in our laws. The Supreme Court of the United States noted in Romer v. Evans that “enumeration is the essential device used to make the duty not to discriminate concrete and to provide guidance for those who must comply (Romer v. Evans 517 U.S. 620 (1996).”

It would appear then that one of the most important reasons for having sexual orientation and gender identity enumerated specifically in laws is to therefore withstand any future legal challenges made to overturn the laws.

LEGISLATORS, ADVOCACY GROUPS BATTLE OVER ENUMERATION

An article originally printed on May 25, 2010, and published online at Pridesource.com, highlights tension around enumeration. In, “To enumerate or not to enumerate: Legislators, states split on specific protections in bullying laws,” author Dana Rudolph describes it as a “tug-of-war” in the movement to pass bullying laws that enumerate bullying for LGBT youth.

The article cites GLSEN and Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays as advocates for enumeration.  But the article also references another anti-bullying national advocacy group, the Bully Police, citing its founder, Brenda High, as an opponent of enumeration.

The BullyPolice.com web site also speaks against enumeration:

“Defining victims will slow the process of lawmaking, dividing political parties who will argue over which victims get special rights over other victims. 

All children deserve the “special right” not to be bullied.  ALL children who are bullied need to be protected.”

Legislative and policy activity at the state and local levels illustrate the tensions and how political anti-bullying, and in turn school safety, has become in recent years: 

  1. Alabama anti-bullying policy omits sexual orientation: A July 29, 2010, Associated Press article covers the omission of sexual orientation in a school board anti-bullying policy in Anniston, Alabama.
  2. Antibullying Bill Goes to Governor: NY Times June 24, 2010, article detailing the behind-the-scenes battle of a bill strongly pushed by gay rights advocates, according to the story.
  3. Anti-Bullying Plan Delayed by Competing Interests: A May 24, 2010, Associated Press story on the competing interests’ impact on a Michigan anti-bullying law.
  4. Illinois Safe Schools Alliance press release on Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signing Senate Bill 3266, an Illinois anti-bullying law supported by the Alliance, a LGBT advocacy group.

CONGRESS PUSHES ANTI-BULLYING BILLS WITH ENUMERATION

Congress has also gotten into the anti-bullying bill business and appears to be moving forward toward federal law(s) addressing anti-bullying and, specifically, discrimination on sexual orientation and gender identity.

On May 20, Senator Al Franken introduced The Student Non-Discrimination Act specifically enumerating sexual orientation and gender identity.  A similar bill was introduced in the House in January by Representative Jared Polis.  The American Civil Liberties Union is strongly supporting the bills and urging swift action, all of this according to the Pridesource.com article previously referenced. 

The advocacy efforts clearly are in place on Capitol Hill.  When I testified on school crime reporting and comprehensive school safety to the House Joint Subcommittee in July 2009, GLSEN had a strong presence at the hearing, which evolved into a hearing largely on anti-bullying issues .  GLSEN was a strong supporter at that time of an anti-bullying bill by Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, whose bill also included enumeration.

OBAMA SAFE SCHOOLS ASSISTANT DEPUTY SECRETARY UNDER FIRE BY GAY RIGHTS ADVOCATES

President Obama’s appointee as Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, Kevin Jennings, has been under fire in recent gay rights and gay news publications.  Kevin, an openly gay activist who founded GLSEN, and the Education Department were accused of being slow and not advocating strongly enough for gay rights issues.  Critical articles recently appeared in the Keen News Service and Keen News Service (2), and tensions around gay rights advocacy issues were highlighted from a speech by Kevin Jennings covered by MetroWeekly.com

It is interesting to see the attempt at political pressure upon Kevin by others in the gay community.  It is particularly intriguing given that in a little over a year that he has held office,  he has openly and aggressively pushed to set the bulk of the U.S. Department of Education’s emphasis on school safety policy and funding on the issue of bullying and climate. As I have shared with him and also in a recent blog post, I believe based on my 25+ years of school safety experience that the over-emphasis on bullying and climate, versus a more balanced and comprehensive approach, is not the best course and is too strongly skewed. 

It is interesting to see the political pressure from some in the gay community suggesting the dramatic proposed change in U.S. Department of Education school safety policy and funding is still not enough.  This speaks again to the increasing politicization of school safety, which in my opinion is not good for the school safety field.  School safety policy and funding directions should be driven by best practices, in the context of a balanced and comprehensive approach as was shared with Congress at the July 2009 hearing .  It should not be driven by politics and skewed special interest agendas and political activists.  

MY TAKE ON THE ANTI-BULLYING LAWS

As  I noted early on, this article is not posted for the purpose of serving as an “anti-gay rights” post.  It is written to publicly lay out the political advocacy and tensions behind state and federal anti-bullying laws. 

A few immediate thoughts I have include:

  1. Once again, parents don’t know what they don’t know.  For that matter, many in the media also don’t know what they don’t know on anti-bullying laws.  The behind-the-scenes battles and political agendas are on fire, but the only thing most parents see and hear is legislators proposing laws to put an end to the terrible act of bullying.  The vast majority of the American public has no idea just how politics is really behind what appears on the surface to be simple anti-bullying laws.
  2. I have been very outspoken against anti-bullying laws on my web site and in several blog posts.  My positions have not involved speaking out against gay rights, but against anti-bullying laws as ineffective and poorly designed unfunded mandates which lack substance and impact on the front lines of schools.  I also note on my web site , which really sums up my feelings on the laws in general, that most school policies address the behaviors which would constitute bullying and most schools have some type of school climate strategies place which deal with issues underlying bullying.
  3. The anti-bullying laws (state and federal) tend to focus on personal characteristics (race, color, sexual orientation, gender identification, etc) and fail to define or describe actual specific bullying behaviors other than “harassment.”  Laws which are too vague will open up the flood gates for law suits against school districts.  Vague laws also beg the question of what such anti-bullying laws will accomplish that existing civil rights laws, education laws, and school policies/student codes of conduct do not already address. 
  4. Would the gay rights agenda, as well as school safety, not be better served by simply addressing these issues under a law clearly identified as a civil rights law, rather than masked to a great extent as “bullying”?  If those advocating believe so strongly in the cause, why not openly call it a civil rights law and advance it accordingly.  Framing it as “bullying” suggests that presenting the issues under the guise of school safety and anti-bullying are necessary in order to move it forward because calling it a civil rights law would garner more resistance.
  5. The politicization of school safety to further any political, civil rights, or other agenda is deeply concerning.  Playing politics with school safety weakens school safety and creates divisiveness.  In the end, school safety will lose far beyond the agenda of one particular issue such as anti-bullying when school safety becomes a political football.

What say you?

Ken Trump

Visit School Security Blog at:  http://www.schoolsecurityblog.com

15 thoughts on “Anti-Bullying Laws Are Being Driven by Gay Rights Advocates

  1. Ryan says:

    When most of the bullying that goes on involves homophobic words or is directed at those perceived to be gay, naming the behavior and why it is wrong is key to change. We know that kids don’t respond to a broad golden rule, but have to be told why specific behavior is hurtful and why a school won’t allow it. Enumeration is key to giving teachers the tools they need to do that. This isn’t a political agenda – its the reality of what students are experiencing at school.

    1. Ken Trump says:

      Thanks for your comments, Ryan. I appreciate your thoughtful perspective and the tone of your comments.

      Kids certainly must be aware of their specific behaviors and the school rules which have been broken when they are disciplined. The vast majority of school districts have student policies and student codes of conduct with a multitude of offenses including harassment, intimidation, assault, threats, menacing, extortion, sexual harassment, and the list goes on. The misbehaviors which constitute bullying are covered in these conduct code categories in the vast majority of school districts. The question is whether schools are using and enforcing what they already have available, and if not how we can as individuals and as a community change the conversation and culture to make that happen. The failure to use applicable existing conduct codes and laws does not create the need for another state or federal law.

      If enumeration is not a political agenda, then why are there special interest groups lobbying for it on Capitol Hill, producing advocacy guidelines for advocates to use in lobbying for enumeration, etc.? It absolutely is a political issue. I have seen the lobbying firsthand and there is plenty evidence of it online.

      I believe the verbal misbehaviors should be addressed and no child should be afraid to be in school. I also believe student codes of conduct and policies address these issues, and that there is a broader political civil rights agenda being advocated (enumeration) under the guise of bullying and school safety. If enumeration is that needed, then it should be addressed as a society-wide civil rights bill that applies everywhere and to everyone in a protected class, not just in a school setting. It should also be openly identified for what it is, debated, and voted upon accordingly — not piecemealed, masked under the title of bullying, etc.

      Thanks again for your thoughtful, well-presented comments. It is always good to hear other perspectives and different ways of looking at things.

      Ken

  2. Jennifer Tidd says:

    this article is ludicrous. A lot of groups are advocating for this, because a lot of tyoes of minority children are targeted. just because LGBT groups are also in favor of this legislation doesn’t make it on LGBT specific legislative effort. I am an activist for autism insurance reform and have also been involved in this lobbying effort to have these laws passed, to protect disabled children as well.

    I would argue it is YOU with a political agenda, trying to drum up bigotry and fear of gay people, to keep very important legislation for the safety of all our children from passing. While none of my four children are gay, I am 100% behind protecting kids who are or are accused as such and bullied for it. To be opposed to kids being bullied for being gay shows clear bigotry towards LGBT people. Sure, there are laws on the books already, clearly not being enforced, so new laws must be tried.

    This is all about protecting our children and nothing to do with politics, at least for the parents and advocates supporting this legislation. I suspect YOU are the political one and have a right wing agenda so important to you my children’s safety matters less to you than something trivial like a tax cut for you, shame.

    1. Ken Trump says:

      Wow, Jennifer, you sound a bit like a person with a political and personal bias. “Right wing agenda”, huh? And you make that accusation and attack because you have a different viewpoint than what I wrote, although of course I notice you failed to dispute any facts I included in the post. Good political strategy: When you can’t attack the facts, you attack the person. Sorry, it doesn’t work here.

      While it may not be a “LGBT specific legislative effort,” it is certainly a LGBT legislative effort and one which LGBT are strongly lobbying and advocating. You might want to look into the concept of “enumeration,” then look at the proposed legislation, and then look at the support LGBT advocacy groups are giving to the issue.

      And no, there is no effort to “drum up biogtry and fear of gay people.” You may be reading into this what you think you want to hear. Again, a case of “If you can’t attack the facts presented, attack the presenter.”

      My point is simple: Call it what it is, put the real agenda on the table, debate it openly, propose a law, and vote on it. I am not advocating against gay rights or civil rights in this post. I am advocating against masking the broader social / political agenda under the guise of “bullying” and politicizing school safety by special interests. I am also advocating against a skewed federal school safety public policy and funding approach.

      School safety requires a comprehensive and balanced approach. An over-emphasis, skewed focus on bullying or drug prevention is no more effective than a skewed focus and over-emphasis on police in schools, emergency planning, or other strategy. That is what is being proposed. And that is what I will continue to speak out against.

      Thanks for sharing your frustration. Please try to keep it based on facts, not personal attacks, OK?

      Ken

  3. Hi Ken,

    Obviously, you care deeply about students, and we appreciate the important work you do. We at GLSEN also believe that all students should be safe in school and that more needs to be done on the local, state and federal levels to address school safety. The reason we support enumerated anti-bullying laws is because research shows they are effective at reducing bullying, and more effective than general anti-bullying laws. It’s really quite that simple.

    In practice, as you well know, politics is rarely as simple as what is the most effective policy based on research. Our laws would look very different if that were the case. Because of this, your No. 3 take on anti-bullying laws makes no sense. In a few weeks, NY will become the 10th state to enact an enumerated law. A few years ago that number was half that. Yet you very well know that nearly every state has an anti-bullying law. Whatever problems exists with current statewide anti-bullying laws, they have nothing to do with enumeration.

    We believe that when research says enumerated laws are the most effective at protecting all students, then we have a duty to fight for enumerated laws. And, yes, we are passionate about doing what we think is best. Sometimes we even create documents, which talk a lot about research.

    So let’s set the stage for what LGBT students are experiencing in school.

    Nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT students experience harassment at school each year because of their sexual orientation. 60.8% of LGBT students feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation. Nearly 1/3 of LGBT students miss a day of school each month because of feeling unsafe.

    We hope all those concerned about school safety would be outraged by this data and be looking for ways to address this problem, unique to LGBT students to this extreme but certainly not unique to LGBT students. That’s what we’ve done. And the data shows that one of the most effective interventions is for schools to have an enumerated anti-bullying policy. General policies are not as effective, and are about as effective as having no law at all when it comes to LGBT students hearing homophobic language.

    We could go on and on…

    We invite you and your readers to look at our research: http://bit.ly/2007NSCS.

    Another important point. We support enumerated laws because they are most effective at protecting non-LGBT students as well. After all, by their very nature these laws enumerate characteristics of students most often targeted. They make it clear that biased-based bullying, often ignored by bullying prevention programs, will not be tolerated.

    We invite you to look at page 55 (65 of the PDF) of this Harris Interactive report that compares enumerated and non-enumerated policies for all students.

    http://www.glsen.org/binary-data/GLSEN_ATTACHMENTS/file/499-1.pdf

    Bottom line: If you want to know why we support enumerated bills and will continue to fight for them over general ones, the answer is right there. They are better.

    All the best in your work,

    A Former Bullied Student

    I’m also GLSEN’s Public Relations Manager

    1. Ken Trump says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and perspectives, Daryl. I, too, appreciate the passion and commitment you and GLSEN have for your cause. There is no question GLSEN cares about the interests of LGBT students nationwide and is a strong advocate for them. Likewise, I appreciate the professional tone and approach to expressing your perspectives as this is not always something we see in these sensitive and emotional debates.

      I appreciate you having a different perspective on my point #3:

      The anti-bullying laws (state and federal) tend to focus on personal characteristics (race, color, sexual orientation, gender identification, etc) and fail to define or describe actual specific bullying behaviors other than “harassment.” Laws which are too vague will open up the flood gates for law suits against school districts. Vague laws also beg the question of what such anti-bullying laws will accomplish that existing civil rights laws, education laws, and school policies/student codes of conduct do not already address.

      Having listened to Russlyn Ali, Assistant Secretary of the Office of Civil Rights for the U.S. Department, in her speech yesterday it seems clear that the Department has the authority to address civil rights complaints in this area. I did not hear her call for a new law during her passionate comments. To the contrary, I heard her, as well as Secretary Duncan, announce they were going to more vigorously enforce existing civil rights laws in this area. It certainly sounded to me as if they have adequate law in place to do so.

      Likewise, I stand by my position that the anti-bullying laws do not enumerate specific bullying behaviors, but instead enumerate specific personal characteristics and use a very broad phrase of “harassment.” I also believe behaviors which constitute bullying can be addressed using student codes of conduct, school climate strategies, and existing measures. Creating more, and often vague, laws because schools are not enforcing the current applicable policies and laws in existence doesn’t make sense, in my opinion.

      I have never questioned whether LGBT students face harassment because of their sexual orientation, so there is no need to present GLSEN’s research illustrating that point in an effort to convince me of the need. Likewise, I am familiar with GLSEN’s-sponsored surveys and research related to enumeration. People monitoring this issue might also be interested in any recent independent research with similar findings which has been conducted and peer-reviewed by academicians not affiliated with any particular advocacy group. It could further strengthen your positions.

      It might also be helpful if GLSEN and others explained by the push for this is school-specific rather than reaching to civil rights laws covering LGBT youth and adults in the broader society. Why just target schools? Do LGBT youth not get harassed at malls, recreation centers, athletic and music arenas, on the streets, in playgrounds, etc.? Wouldn’t enumeration in the laws affecting broader society not also apply to schools, but address the issue beyond the schoolhouse doors? I think these are questions some in education may have on this issue.

      I continue to have concerns about a single-issue emphasis and skewed policy and funding approach to the school safety by the federal (or other) government. An over-emphasis on any single issue and approach to school safety, whether it is bullying and climate or school policing and emergency preparedness, is a short-sighted approach.

      It is also my belief that parents, educators, the media, and others have not fully examined the broader social and political advocacy agendas behind the anti-bullying law movement. We both know the behind-the-scenes lobbying and efforts going on to advance these particular interests, but the average parent and educator has no idea. I think the full process needs to be out in the open so people see beyond the surface level issue of “bullying is a problem” and “we need another law to deal with it.”

      Thanks again for your feedback. I respect you and your colleagues for your passion and commitment to your cause. And I appreciate the professional manner in which you challenge my position and advance thought in this area. I am always open to diverse and differing opinions.

      I, too, like many others am a “former bullied student,” and people in my family very close to me have, as well. So I believe many people understand the issue of bullying better than many people think we do.

      Best regards,

      Ken

  4. Mrs. C says:

    How about we worry first about real violence in schools against students who can’t defend themselves? How about we eliminate abusive TEACHER and staff-inflicted restraint and seclusion practices that are rampant across many states of our nation? Dang, even our local high school student handbook details PADDLING practices. And we’re worrying about a kid getting disapproving stares for his gender orientation? GLSEN is no friend of my children if that’s their number one priority, I can tell you that! Have they come out in support of SB 2860? Does anyone care that kids are strapped to chairs and locked into closets at the hands of staff, and there is no legal recourse for parents in many states? Where is the outcry?

    Where is it?

  5. Ryan says:

    Ken – I hear you 100% that most schools have existing bullying policies that can make a difference. But sometimes school staff don’t see bullying as bullying, or don’t respond to it in a uniform way. Pushing a kid who likes to read into a locker and calling him a faggot often occurs without a response, while targeting a Chinese kid with a racist word results in immediate suspension. Enumeration is a tool for school staff to be able to implement bullying policies. Is a way of saying ‘this is bullying too.’ The golden rule is just as vague for teachers as it is for students.

    1. Ken Trump says:

      Thanks again for your feedback, Ryan. I agree with you that discipline and climate strategies should be evenly applied in a firm, fair, and consistent manner. I am hearing that existing laws and policies address the issues but they are not enforced. Creating new laws because existing laws are not being enforced, versus creating new laws because existing laws do not address a need, are two different things. I listened last week to the Secretary of Education and two of his assistants, including one over civil rights, reframe bullying as a federal civil rights issue. They indicated civil rights laws will be “vigorously” enforced. But I did not hear any of them call for new laws. If they are making a radical shift in federal policy and practice, and felt there was a need, why did they not call for new laws? Ken

  6. David Aponte says:

    Ken,
    Before getting into anything, this is a very well written post. I commend you for examining everything that is on the table and objectively looking at it.
    However, there are some things that cannot be ignored. First off, the advocacy goes beyond the work of LGBT groups. Yes, I do work for GLSEN. However, I just testified yesterday to the DC Council on behalf of proposed anti-bullying legislation. My testimony was based on my experience of being bullied for my religion, my stature, and my intelligence in elementary school.
    I testified with the understanding that there are many bullying policies out there already but are obviously lacking the teeth to stop bullying. I went to my guidance counselor in elementary school and was told that I was being to forward about who I was. Without enough enumeration in a bill, many administrators and teachers have no idea what to do or what to point to when enforcing their current zero tolerance policies.
    Living in the south (though not the deep south as Northern Virginia is not), I have seen firsthand school administrators ignoring the bullying of LGBT students. It is clear that they need to know that these students are protected. It is difficult for LGBT students to see a different class of students in their school. These students have a extra level of protection around them.
    I am a straight ally but I saw this on a regular basis when I was in school and I believe enumeration is far more than a “gay issue”.

    1. Ken Trump says:

      Hi, David –

      Thanks for your kind comments and well written response, as well. I also appreciate you identifying your affiliation with GLSEN up-front. I respect GLSEN for their advocacy and commitment to their goals.

      There appears to be common agreement that bullying is an issue. There also appears agreement it needs to be addressed as a part of a comprehensive approach to school safety.

      There are differing perspectives, however, on how it should be addressed. School policies, student conduct codes, climate strategies, criminal law, and related tools are available to address bullying in local districts. Failure to utilize those tools, such as in the example you described, does not in my opinion automatically equate to a need for federal laws. The problem is with the people who failed to use the rules, policies, and tools which exist.

      It is also an overreach of the federal government to become involved in local school discipline and climate as proposed by these laws and the actions of the current Administration.

      The laws, as proposed, appear to be more civil rights bills than school safety or anti-bullying bills. In my opinion, they should be identified as such, targeted to society as a whole rather than narrowly to schools, and debated accordingly.

      Thanks again for sharing your thoughts, and for the professional manner in which you did so.

      Best regards,

      Ken

  7. Curtis C. Collins says:

    I’ve read all the blogs, and it’s very intresting. I’m a openly 21 year-old gay male in Detroit, MI whose apart of an Anti-Bullying group funded through GLSEN, and I feel it’s a very important issue just like many others! We all have different views and opinions about the harrasment of human beings. But what people don’t understand its more so in the LGBT community because they consider us different, and not human beings. In Detroit it’s even bigger because it’s a park called Palmer Park and transgenders, gay men, and bi-sexual men, are being harrassed everyday if not killed that I’ve witnessed! I can’t say all schools but the schools that I’ve attended and worked at its an issue, even for me when I did work at one particular school! I was looked at differently because I was gay, treated horribly by students, and even physically badger! People can say they understand but they really don’t in this day in age until you really experience it. Once again being gay has a lot to do with how America view things, what happen to one nation under God, and equality. Now he or she, son or daughter where gay and you here the stories that they come home with everyday then you would understand this is a valid issue. Bullying is a be thing but in the gay community I reinterate it’s even bigger. For those who think it’s not try a day in my shoes and see what I go through riding the D-DOT bus lines, on my way to school, even when I try to play basketball in parks, trying living the life before disowning the issue!

    1. Ken Trump says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences, Curtis. While I am sure there are those who “disown” the issue as you described, I believe most agree that bullying is an issue and one that needs to be addressed as a part of a comprehensive approach to school safety. The differences exist in how, not if, bullying should be addressed.

  8. kristen says:

    This is ridiculous just because the LGBT community may be benefitting from these laws doesnt mean its just for them there are millions of kids being bullied for all kinds of different reasons and all of them need someone to watch out for them they should feel safe at school not scared and these laws can help personally i think consequences for kids that bully others are not harsh enough use your political power to do something useful for once and help these poor kids i hate how idiots are the ones who seem to get all the political power and think that their standings on issues dont make a difference beacause they do dont let your personal opinions get in the way of saving kids lives. it doesnt matter who is backing these laws it only matters that they are getting backed and apparently if the only ones backing this cause are members of the LGBT community then it shows they are the ones who care

    1. Ken Trump says:

      Thanks for your thoughts, Kristen. I believe there is common agreement that bullying is an issue and one which needs to be part of a comprehensive approach to school safety. I am not sure what you are referring to as my “political power” as I don’t know where I have any such power. I do know, however, that national LGBT special interest groups have been very active lobbying for their political agendas, so perhaps this is really where the politics is going on. I appreciate you writing and agree that bullying is a concern and that all students need to be safe in school. Ken

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