I am proud to report that we introduced important Anti-Bullying legislation this past week! We must work to make our schools safe zones for all of our children! Please pass this on.
State Representatives Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Michael Stinziano (D-Columbus) on April 18th, introduced anti-bullying legislation that would prohibit harassment, intimidation and bullying based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Every child, regardless of race, color, creed, sexual orientation, or gender, deserves the opportunity to receive a quality education in a safe environment,” Rep. Stinziano said. “Recent tragic events have raised awareness to an issue that has gone on unaddressed in our schools for years. This legislation builds upon the belief that differences between us, our background, heritage, and opinions are what make our community great. ”
“It is the right of all our children to have full access to education in an atmosphere free from fear and intimidation. We must make our schools safe for all,” Rep. Antonio said.
The bill defines age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, gender, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political preference, political belief, socioeconomic status, and familial status as traits commonly exploited by bullies, and calls for these characteristics to be specifically mentioned in anti-bullying policies in Ohio schools.
Thirteen states have passed legislation that specifically protects students from bullying on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
These states are:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- and Washington
The bill will be assigned to a House committee for further consideration.