NOM BLOG

"A Student Who Voices Reservations About SSM Could be Accused of Bullying LGBT Students"

 

Katherine Kersten in the Star-Tribune on the agenda behind Minnesota's anti-bullying initiative:

"...Why this new law? The task force appears to presuppose that bullying is a pervasive and growing problem. In fact, however, incidents of bullying and intimidation have dropped markedly in recent years, according to surveys by the Department of Justice.

And while the task force gives the impression that LGBT students are a primary focus of bullying, evidence suggests that the vast majority of bullying is directed at other students. The DOJ surveys indicate that the percentage of 12- to 18-year-old students who reported being targets of hate-related words based on their sexual orientation fell from 1.0 percent in 2007 to 0.6 percent in 2009.

... Not surprisingly, the task force's proposed new antibullying regime would not treat all children equally, despite lip service to this goal. Instead, it focuses on students in "protected classes," including sexual orientation and "gender identity or expression."

Under the task force's vague and overbroad definitions of bullying and harassment, students could be punished for "direct or indirect interactions" that other students --especially those in protected groups -- claim to find "humiliating" or "offensive," that have a "detrimental effect" on their "social or emotional health," or even that promote a "perceived imbalance of power."

By this standard, a student who voices reservations about same-sex marriage could be accused of bullying LGBT students." (Star-Tribune)