By Staff Editorial
By Staff Editorial
As long as there have been bullies, the phrase “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me,” has been the phrase echoing in American kids’s mouths throughout history.
With the new world advancing with technology the traditional bullying of taking the nerdy kid’s lunch money has changed to starting rumors on the internet and finding ways to hurt someone.
In today’s world students all across the country face being humiliated or threatened on social media websites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.
Bullies have taken the destruction of their prey to newer, more personal levels.
Being smart or dressing differently is not what makes young students targets anymore.
Now, bullies are targeting people based on their sexual orientation.
California has made a ground-breaking move to grab hold of the horns of this issue and face it head on.
Assemblyman Tom Ammiano has introduced a bill called Seth’s Law that will provide schools with the necessary tools specifically needed to prevent and address the issue of harassment on the basis of perceived or actual sexual orientation, gender expression, in addition to gender, ethnicity, religion and disability.
The law is named after 13 year old gay student Seth Walsh from Tehachapi, who took his own life after enduring anti-gay harassment for years and having his claims ignored by teachers and administrators.
It aims to help schools bring peace among their students and train their students on the effects of bullying and the damage it can do to a person.
Bullying is a massive problem across the nation.
School is hard enough for children and teenagers without the fear of being harassed and bullied for what others perceive as being “different.”
Though the law is being put in place to protect and help all students, it is especially important for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender teenagers as they face a suicide rate three times higher than that of a heterosexual teenager and a national survey revealed that nine out of every 10 LGBT teenagers have been harassed at school.
The law will create programs to end harassment, make it easy for students to report incidents of bullying and ensures that they will be taken very seriously and aims to educate teachers, counselors and administrators so they can effectively help their students.
There is crucial and urgent need for this bill to pass.
Already so many young people have taken their own lives because of bullying, especially those in the LGBT community.
Seth’s Law will make it so schools will be legally obligated to listen to students who report being bullied and help them, instead of trying to relieve themselves of the responsibility of guaranteeing the safety and well being of their students.
Regardless of what beliefs teachers and administrators may hold, all students need to be treated equally in a school setting, and it is apparent that putting a law in place is necessary for that to happen.
The LGBT student community has been thoroughly ignored and neglected by the public school system.
It is time now that laws are set in place to protect these marginalized students, safeguard their rights and to ensure that no other lives are lost because of intolerance, ignorance and harassment.