By a margin of 108 to no one, the Illinois house of Representatives passed a bill that requires schools to adopt policies prohibiting bullying based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and several other characteristics. The state senate passed the measure earlier this month, with only two votes against it, and Governor Pat Quinn is expected to sign it into law.
Now, if only the rest of the country.....
The legislation also seeks to require schools to offer students training in how to resist bullying and take other reasonable steps to stop harassment.
Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov: “Students who are perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender are particularly vulnerable to bullying. And the attempted suicide rate among LGBT students, which is as much as three times higher than the general average, presents alarming evidence for just how urgently we need this law. This was a no-nonsense bill, and I am so glad that it sailed quickly through both chambers of the legislature.”
Since bullying can often lead to suicide, that's the exact stance we should take on bullying, from fellow students, to teachers, administrators and parents: No nonsense.