Last week Governor Jennifer Granholm reiterated her call for anti-bullying legislation in the wake of the suicide of a 12-year-old girl in Michigan. Granholm has favored legislation that would specifically address the common reasons for bullying--sexual orientation and gender identity. The Family Equality Council, GLSEN, and PFLAG National issued a statement responding to the Governor’s comments.
"We applaud Gov. Granholm for urging lawmakers to take up anti-bullying legislation that includes language spelling out prohibitions on specific kinds of bullying. Several authoritative studies demonstrate why school policies that include enumeration language, including sexual orientation and gender identity, are vital to school safety and protection from verbal and physical abuse. Students who attend schools with enumerated anti-harassment policies report they feel safer and are less likely to skip a class because they feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Enumerating categories does not create special groups or privileges; rather, it provides safety in a way that research has shown is essential for protecting all students but particularly the one million American children who have LGBT parents. Safe schools legislation that affords the strongest protections through enumeration and mandated training programs should be the standard for the rest of the country.”