Main | Wednesday, September 08, 2010

NEW YORK: Gov. David Paterson Signs Comprehensive Anti-Bullying Bill

New York Gov. David Paterson today signed the Dignity For All Students Act (DASA), a sweeping anti-bullying education reform bill that grants explicit protections to students based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. It is the first law in New York state to include gender identity and expression as protected classes.

The signing of this historic bill took place at the NYC LGBT Community Center. The NGLTF's Rea Carey cheers via press release:
“For some young people, going to school is tantamount to a daily dose of torture. In too many cases, harassment, taunting and abuse are allowed to go on unabated in our nation’s schools. We have repeatedly seen the tragic consequences of this pervasive problem: young people are left emotionally damaged, physically hurt, or feel they have no other option than to take their own lives out of hopelessness and despair. Youth who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender — or simply perceived to be — are often the targets of this abuse. Today, New York said enough is enough."
The bill's sponsor was openly gay Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell:
"Too many students are bullied based on real or perceived differences with their classmates. Every student deserves an environment free of harassment and discrimination, an environment that allows every child to reach his or her full potential. For too long, our educational system has been blind to the plight of these students. I am proud that the Assembly led the way on this important issue, and that today, the Dignity for All Students Act is finally signed into law."
This is a fantastic step forward for the LGBT youth of New York state, but the battle rages on elsewhere as groups like Focus On The Family continue to influence school boards and state legislatures in their campaign to enable the brutalization of gay children.

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