OLYMPIA, Wash., May 1 - A bill aimed at curtailing bullying and harassment in schools stalled out in the Legislature after Christian conservatives complained that it amounted to a gay rights measure.
The bill would have require school districts to set up policies against harassment, bullying and intimidation, and would have ordered the state to develop a model policy as a guide. It also would have required districts to train employees and volunteers in the prevention of bullying. But many of those who lobbied against the measure claimed it amounted to censorship of their right to condemn homosexuality.
Now, in the age of school shootings, and massive harassment for students all around, doesn't this strike you as terribly destructive?
If things get to the point where we are unable to place protective measures in place because it would give ALL groups and youth those protections as well, something has gone horribly wrong.
More from the article, which poiunts out that thankfully, the bill is not yet dead in the water,
"It hasn't died yet," said Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, a Bothell Democrat who sponsored the bill at the request of Locke and Gregoire. McAuliffe said she remains optimistic since both chambers' budget proposals included some funding to support such a measure by helping schools pay for training. "We (wrote) it so it did not protect any group, it protected all kids." With the revision, Quall expected the bill to sail through. "So what's the problem? That's what I'd like to know," Quall said. "In its current form there's probably not as much enthusiasm for the bill because the bill now kind of protects people's rights to be a bully as long as it is an expression of their religious convictions."
It denies them their right to condemn homosexuality???
Well, don't stop there. I suppose we shouldn't deny a racist's right to condemn being a non-white person. We shouldn't deny a man's right to condemn being a woman. We shouldn't deny a skinny person's right to condemn obesity.
I hope this doesn't only sound ridiculous to me. Basically, they're saying that we should protect people from being bullied, but of course the Christians should have the right make fun of the gay kids. That's sick.
Right............................................................. strange how Christians are so willing to condone bullying on religious. In fact its not strange, its a hypocracy beyond parody! Even our controversial Baptist has managed to make his feelings clear about homosexuality wothout actively condemning anyone here. So it isnt much to ask that people do not insult people directly whatever their beliefs.
Posts: 711 | From: England | Registered: Nov 2000
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(Would that that were so. We have simply had to edit out the direct flames and condemnations because they were hurtful and violative of our guidelines.)
Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
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Thought I'd add my bit to this discussion. At the Uni of Bath we have absolutely brilliant equal opportunity and safe space guidelines (which I won't go into now, but are very comprehensive), that all staff, students, clubs and societies have to adhere to. This includes meaning that no club is allowed to have, either explicitly or implicitly, any ideals that would break this. A result of this is that the Christian Union are not allowed to be recognised as an official club (note there are still catholic, anglican, baptist, hindu etc socs with a chaplaincy centre on campus, Bath Uni Christian Union was just what this specific grop wanted to be called) since part of their manifesto was to protest against homosexuality etc. ie. a fundamentalist christian activist group, as far as I understand. I'm not sure of my feelings on this (freedom of expression v feeling of safety, debate could go on for ages), but is the sort of thing that they are worried abut happening in the US? As far as I can tell the people still have freedom to worship as they choose (therefore religious freedom), they just can't impose views on others. And what's the prob with that? Why should people be able to intimidate others (which is surely breaking the freedom of expression for others, and also against the 'peace and love' message religions (esp. christianity) try to put themselves forward as having)? Calvin (my posts go on too long. Sorry)
Posts: 54 | From: UK | Registered: Jul 2000
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Not at all, many of my posts have gone on longer than that and in much more rambling (how is anybody supposed to understand this) nature.
i suppose in ure example it would depend what "their manifesto was to protest against homosexuality" actually means. Does it mean that they will personally believe that homosexuality is wrong because we have to accept that view or is it go out and intimidate homosexuals to "protect" the community? BTW the most genuinely religious person I know (he is Christian) is completely fine with homosexuality (though not personally involved in it). Christiantiy is all about equality and tolerence so it just seems so outrageous that they will support the insulting and attacking of homosexuals.
I believe strongly in the freedom of speech. I believe that if a kid wants to say that homosexuality is wrong then let him. Where that becomes wrong is when he is attacking someone specifically.
I have find it weird that when a liberal bashes on conservatives its ok but when conservatives bash on liberals its not. Many conservatives (not all) are not specifically attacking any one liberal, but their views in genereal. That is freedom of speech and should NOT be taken away. Just like the freedom for liberals to try and discredit conservatives should not be taken away.
If that bill is aiming at protecting kids from specific abuse against them, and not their views, then i think it needs to be passed. If it is to make it so that a kid cant express a controversial view then its wrong and needs to be revised.
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