Kentucky Republicans Kill Anti-Bullying Bill That Prevents Discrimination Against LGBT Students, African Americans, And Others
Despite the tearful testimony of parents whose children committed suicide because of constant bullying and harassment, House Republicans nixed what would perhaps be the strongest anti-bullying legislation in Kentucky on Tuesday. They couldn’t even be bothered to let it go to a vote before the entire House. They killed it in committee.
Defeated largely along party lines by a vote of 13-10, Republicans successfully killed House Bill 336, which according to The Courier-Journal, “called for a prohibition on bullying and harassment in schools, including acts motivated by race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disabilities and other distinguishing characteristics.” Republicans say that existing anti-bullying laws are sufficient to solve the problem, but Democratic Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, the sponsor of the bill, says the new language would create stronger protections because it specifically identifies students by group. This makes perfect sense. This way, teachers and school administrators could no longer get away with allowing bullies to have free reign over certain groups.
But Republicans don’t care. Democratic Rep. Marzian is outraged that the GOP could refuse to help kids who are different. “I’m astounded at the lack of compassion among Republicans who claim to care about people, but obviously they don’t,” she said. “It’s typical of their all talk and no action.”
Bullying doesn’t belong in our schools. Schools are places of learning where every student belongs. By refusing to support anti-bullying efforts, Republicans are effectively giving bullies the thumbs up. Even after all the gay students who have committed suicide and after all the kids in general who have committed suicide because they were bullied relentlessly in school, Republicans in Kentucky don’t think anti-bullying laws need to be stronger.
Sadly, we are turning into a society where only the white, the wealthy, the heterosexual and the male are respected. Republican politicians campaign against LGBT people, women, the poor, minorities and the disabled. In short, they make bullying socially acceptable. How many more kids will we have to lose before even the Republicans say “enough is enough?”