N.C.: Anti-gay rights groups block school bullying bill

By Lynn Bonner
Raleigh News & Observer
A flood of calls and mail from social conservatives who don’t want gay students on a list of potential bullying targets helped stall votes on a proposed school safety law.

Legislators have been working on a bullying bill for more than a year, and until Tuesday morning thought they had a compromise that would pass both House and Senate.

But the bill stalled over a list that included “sexual orientation” as one of more than a dozen reasons a student might be bullied or harassed. Both the House and Senate plan to vote on a bullying bill before they finish work this week, though it is not certain what it will say.

Opponents want the whole list removed. Those who want the law to list potential targets said the descriptions are necessary because some bullying is ignored or tolerated as “kids being kids.”
“When people are being ignored, you have to be specific sometimes,” said Brian Lewis, lobbyist for the North Carolina Association of Educators. Full story.


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