Up in Charleston, West Virginia, the state Board of Education passed revisions to a student behavior policy last week that included a measure to protect sexual orientation and gender identity.In West Virginia.
This is huge, y'all. And, making it all the better, the board unanimously approved Policy 4373, the Expected Behavior in Safe and Supportive Schools, even after a round of public comments.
The policy combines four previous polices regarding student behavior and discipline, but most notable was the addition of "gender identity or expression" and "sexual orientation" under the list of characteristics that are specifically protected. New punishments for bullying or harassment include changing the bullying student's class schedule to in-school suspension. Out-of-school suspension for up to 10 days or administrative recommendation that the student be placed in an alternative education program are on the more severe end of the scale. It seems that you won't be able to bully gay kids, or kids you think are gay, any more.
Bradley Milam, executive director of Fairness West Virginia, said. "This is a long time coming and it affects all students. We are so excited it is becoming a reality in West Virginia, where this (bullying) is an epidemic."
Of course, as is only fair, the bigoted, homophobic, bullying asshats also got to speak. Jeremy Dys, president of the conservative Family Policy Council of West Virginia, said the policy jeopardizes the free speech rights of students whose religious beliefs do not condone homosexuality.
Hey Jeremy, you moron, keep your religious beliefs out of public schools, and quit trying to make it okay to bully kids, beat kids, taunt kids, because of your so-called god. Quit couching your bigotry under the guise of religion.
Dys said, "Without such deletion or modification this proposed policy gives unrivaled authority to school officials to censor any speech when that official subjectively deems such speech as offensive."
Um, Jeremy, you douchenozzle? Is "You should kill yourself faggot" offensive? If not, then is "You should kill yourself Christian" acceptable? Think about that Jeremy.
Tom Fast, an attorney and asshat from Fayette County, said, "So why does the policy have to say sexual orientation or gender identity? The answer is, I mean there is no other way around this, the answer is it is an attempt to sanction the homosexual agenda, the homosexual lifestyle and that is the attempt here."
Fast believes there is no reason to 'single out gays' in the bullying policy among the dozen other traits listed under that section. Traits like race, color, religion, ancestry, origin, gender, socioeconomic status, academic status, physical appearance, disability, or other characteristics. Wingnuts like Tom Fast want you to stop bullying anyone, for any reason, except gay kids.
But let's just try this: stop bullying.
For any reason.
Don't bully the fat kid, the skinny kid, the gay kid, the black kid, the poor kid, the freckled kid, the gay kid, the shy kid, the short kid, the Christian kid.
Just fucking stop the bullying.