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North Carolinians Support School Violence Prevention. Will the Legislature?

Yesterday Public Policy Polling released a new statewide poll that proves once again the vast majority of North Carolinians want the legislature to pass the School Violence Prevention Act, a bill that would make our schools safer with anti-bullying policies that have been proven to make a difference.

Controversy has erupted over the bill’s listing of categories of students frequently targeted for bullying, including sexual orientation and gender identity.

Why is that language there? Because we know that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students–and others who are just perceived to be LGBT–are among the most frequent victims of bullying and harassment, yet teachers and principals don’t consistently intervene to protect them.  Research has shown that policies that spell out that protecting all students really means all students, including minority students, make students safer.

Now this poll shows that most North Carolinians agree: 69% support the bill with sexual orientation included. That includes a majority of every single demographic: Democrat and Republican, East and West, black and white.

An amazing, broad coalition of groups representing parents, teachers, students and minority communities, Prevent School Violence NC, has emerged to support this bill.

The question is this: Will the legislature act this year to make schools safer? Or will they once again hand victory to a small but loud group of people who dislike gay people enough that they’re willing to risk children’s safety?

One Comment

  1. Jack

    March 21, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    The Civil Rights Act of 1964, National Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. These laws remind us as to why such laws must exist. As a nation we have a history of targeting groups of people as unworthy and therefore denying people their human rights, civil rights and many times life itself.

    There will always be the small but vocal group of people that can be trusted to do _____. (you fill in the blank) The question I continually ask myself is, what are your fears and are they getting in the way of you doing the right thing?