Bullying can be a major road block for any kid, and thankfully some states are now taking punishment to a new level by drafting and enacting anti-bullying legislation.
And while there are many reasons specific kids are targeted, i.e. race or class, of particular concern are young LGBTQ students because thier identification may often be compounded by the color of their skin, their ethnicity, their religion, etc.
Cited in a Kansas newpsper article -- a state where anti-bullying laws go in to affect January 1, 2008 -- were statistics taken from a 2005 national survey about LGBTQ students:
• Three-fourths of students heard derogatory remarks frequently or often at school.
• More than a third of students experienced physical harassment.
• And lesbian and gay students were five times more likely than students in general to report having skipped school in the last month because of safety concerns.
However, despite mounting tales of young folks who have been savagely beaten, or intimidated, Kansas lawmakers say there is no need to specify LGBTQ bullying issues because it is already folded in to the general policy: “Superintendent Winston Brooks said the district's current policies and student code of conduct already prohibit such harassment, and that sexual orientation is not a protected class as defined by federal law.”
It is an unbelievable outrage that sexual orientation is not protected by federal power, and more so, that individual states would be so ignorant to want to go along with it.
This is especially true because there are numerous states and school districts that are not only saying that bullying is a problem, and that folks should be held accountable for their hateful actions, they are also saying that students, the administration, teachers and parents also need to look at the reasons behind the hate; learn to solve the problem through education; and to train everyone in LGBTQ human rights by shining light on the underlying heteronormativity U.S. society is grounded on.