Friday, February 25, 2011

Rally for held for new anti-bullying bill that includes sexual orientation

This from WAVE 3 News:

People from all over Kentucky headed to Frankfort Feb. 23 in an effort to make kids safer. They say they are supporting fairness and celebrating a major victory against bullying.

Kentucky already has anti-bullying laws, but this one is aimed at protecting kids who are being harassed because of their sexual orientation.

The Fairness Campaign took its message to the Capitol, thanking 14 state legislators, all Democratic representatives, nine of whom are from Louisville, for being champions of fairness. The rally comes one day after House Bill 370 passed out of the Education Committee.

Meghan Lampe, now a sophomore at the University of Louisville, testified that she was harassed and called names when she went to Butler High School because she was gay. Lampe said that at the end of her freshman year, she tried to kill herself. Now she has dedicated her life to stop bullying.

"We need fairness to have everyone be equal. We need fairness to push our society forward and I know it will happen because history is on our side," said Lampe to the cheering crowd.

Rep. Mary Lou Marzian (D-District 34/Louisville) sponsored the bill that passed out of committee 21-1. When asked about the difference between this and the existing anti-bullying law, Marzian said this one is more specific which she hopes will make it easier to identify bullying and stop it.

This from H-L:

Panel OKs measure to ban bullying of gay students
Bullitt Central High School freshman Aye Jay Long, 14, told a panel of lawmakers on Tuesday that he was continually harassed by his classmates, who called him a "fag" after he told them he was gay earlier this school year.
"I was getting shoved and pushed into lockers," Long said.

He said he once received straight As but now is getting Cs, Ds, and Fs because of the harassment.
His and other students' testimony helped persuade the House Education Committee to approve a bill that would require Kentucky schools to enhance their bullying policies, prohibiting harassment based on sexual orientation, race or religion. The proposal now heads to the House floor for a possible vote...

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