Ohio bullying policies lack specifics
Originally printed 11/10/2011 (Issue 1945 - Between The Lines News)
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)- When Ohio began requiring school districts to adopt anti-bullying policies in 2007, the state didn't specify exactly what those must look like. As a result, most central Ohio districts have general bans forbidding harassment for any reason or by any method.
On Nov. 3, two state representatives urged their colleagues in the General Assembly to approve a law requiring schools to list specific groups that would be protected by bullying policies, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
Their requests stems from the recent beating of a 15-year-old boy by fellow high school students. The boy's mother says he was targeted for being gay.
"We cannot allow another child to be bullied, harassed, or worse, beaten because our schools lack an appropriate mechanism to prevent such occurrences from taking place,"Democratic Reps. Nickie Antonio and Michael Stinziano wrote in a letter.
In Franklin County, housing Ohio's most populous city, Columbus, only four of 16 school districts specifically prohibit the bullying of gay students, those with disabilities or other groups, the newspaper reported.
Research has suggested that the naming of those specific groups, in addition to a blanket ban on bullying, has helped those students.
"From a research perspective, there is some evidence that students who attend schools with anti-bullying policies that include specific protections based on sexual orientation tend to report fewer incidents of victimization based on sexual orientation," wrote Melissa Holt in an email to the newspaper. Holt is an assistant professor of counseling psychology at Boston University.
However, Hollie Reedy, chief legal counsel for the Ohio School Boards Association, said the group does not advocate adding language to anti-bullying policies singling out specific groups of students.
"My position is (that) bullying is bullying and you do not need to specifically enumerate a class of students to have a good anti-bullying policy," she said.
When Ohio started requiring that schools institute anti-bullying policies, the State Board of Education wrote a sample policy that individual boards could adopt. At the time, they debated whether to include "sexual orientation'' but instead opted to write a model policy with general language.
There is some research that indicates that the suicide rate among gay or bisexual teens could be reduced by highlighting their protection in anti-bullying policies, the newspaper reported.
"School environments are really important for youth,"said Mark Hatzenbuehler, a psychologist and researcher at Columbia University in New York. "When you improve school climate, you see a reduction in suicide."
- Mississippi Judge Overturns Same-Sex Marriage Ban
- Study Suggests Genetic Link For Male Homosexuality
- Shelter in Kansas City Won't House Gay Couples
- Gay Marriage Issue Now Linked To Ohio Senator
- Another Top Ohio Republican Speaks On Gay Marriage
- Pope Reinforces Traditional Family Values
- Election 2014: LGBT Candidates Make Some History Across U.S.
- Republican Sweep Captures Senate And Some Pro-Gay Governors
- LGBT Veterans Still Denied Equal Federal Benefits
- GLSEN Releases New National School Climate Survey On America's Middle And High Schools
- NCAVP 2013 Intimate Partner Violence Report
- Transgender Michigan Teen Shares Story On National Stage
- CEO Of Apple Tim Cook: 'I'm Proud To Be Gay'
- Guide To Elections Across the U.S.
- 5th Circuit Court Sets Date To Hear SSM Cases
- Federal Gov. To Recognize Same-Sex Married Couples In Six More States
- Hook-Up Related Homicide In Pennsylvania
- Bishops Scrap Welcome To Gays In Sign Of Split
- Federal Judge Strikes Down Arizona Same-Sex Marriage Ban
- October Surprise At The Supreme Court
- Alaska Will Issue Marriage Licenses To Gay Couples
- AIDS/HIV Organizations
- Allegan County Health Department
- Adult Novelties
- Pure Romance
- Buckstad & Associates
- Franklin Auto Service
- AG Chocolates
- Short-term Interactive Couple's Therapy
- State Farm Insurance
- Moving Companies
- Two Men And A Truck
- Pet Adoption
- Humane Society of Huron Valley
- Pet Training
- Camp Bow Wow Brighton
Enter contests to win great prizes like CDs, DVDs, concert tickets and more
- Q&A: Lisa Kudrow On Judging 'Drag Race' (As Valerie Cherish!) & Gays Being Biologically 'Superhuman'
- Q&A: Andy Cohen On His (Almost) Tell-All Book, 'Nasty' Names Gays Call Him
- GOP Hopeful Wants 'Christians' Fleeing MI If Gays Get Civil Rights
- Divine Intervention: Bette Midler Talks Early Gay Support, 'Diva' Degradation & Twerking ('Girls, Please!')
- Creep of the Week: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder
Sign up to receive our weekly newsletters today!
This Week's Issue
Download or view this week's print issue today!
Sign up to receive our weekly newsletters today!