April 17, 2009 • 2:27 pm 0
February 3, 2009 • 11:41 am 3
(Originally published in the Minnesota Independent, 2/3/09)
“It started in middle school,” Gary Skarsten said, remembering a gay student he used to mentor from a town near Braham, Minn. “He was being taunted on the playground — being called a ‘fag,’ and that sort of thing.”
It’s an all-too-familiar story for many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or transsexual students or their parents – students being singled out and mercilessly harassed by other students because school administrators can’t, or won’t, act. A coalition of Minnesota LGBT advocacy groups is trying to keep this story from repeating with a bill that would require all schools to have anti-bullying policies that protect a broad range of youth, including LGBT students. Read the rest of this entry »
January 8, 2009 • 11:42 pm 0
OutFront Minnesota, Minnesota’s biggest/only LGBT lobbying organization, has announced they will be backing an anti-bullying law this legislative session that requires schools to include sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in their anti-bullying policies.
The “Safe Schools for All” bill, if passed, would be a major step forward for LGBT students, said OutFront Public Policy Director Monica Meyer, because “schools have model policies that don’t even include wording that’s present in the Human Rights Act.”
Meyer said OutFront would be working closely with the Rainbow Families coalition, State Senator Scott Dibble, and Senator Charles Wiger, Chair of the Senate’s Education Committee.
The bill will also include socio-economic status (defined in the Human Rights Act as being on public assistance or not, said Meyer), and a student’s physical characteristics.
A student would be covered, “even if you’ve got big ears,” said Meyer.