The New York State Senate may be poised to make the Empire State the 12th in the country to adopt a comprehensive anti-bullying law that specifically addresses sexual orientation and gender identity.
According to The New York Times, the bill has been introduced in Senate, though it's unclear whether it will be debated, and voted on, anytime soon.
From the Times' report:
Legislation aimed at banning bullying in public schools, including harassment based on sexual orientation, has been quietly introduced in the State Senate. The legislation, which includes language protecting transgender students and teachers, has been a priority of advocates for gay and lesbian rights but was ignored for nearly a decade in the Senate.
Republicans introduced the bill this week, but no sponsor was listed. . . .
Senate Republicans could bring it to the floor at another session later in the month, but it was not clear if they would do so. However, it would be unusual to go to the trouble of introducing a bill in the off-season without an intention to pass it. . . .
The legislation would require training to help teachers recognize and respond to bullying and require schools to keep track of bullying cases, including incidents in which students are harassed for their sexual orientation. Similar bills have been passed in the Democrat-controlled Assembly several times.
If you are a New York resident, click here to find your Senator and urge them to push for passage of the bill, and make New York the latest in a growing number of states that are taking strong stand in favor of safe schools.