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Florida schools to target gay bullying

PinkNews Staff Writer April 26, 2006

Gay groups in Florida are claiming victory after state representative Ellyn Bogdanooff added homophobia to school bullying categories.

Equality Florida were joined by the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Organisation of Women, and the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network, in opposition to Republican Ellyn Bogdanoff’s new legislation on school bullying last week.

They claimed it failed to specifically highlight the most vulnerable students such as gays and minorities.

The approved change now means every school district in Florida will have to adopt an anti bullying policy if the Bill is passed by all Houses this week.

Stratton Pollitzer, from Equality Florida, told the Washington Blade, “It’s not perfect, but the amendment moves the bill from being a net negative to a net positive.

“If this bill passes as amended, it will be a great victory for students.”

Ms Bogdanoff said: “There is a strict requirement in the bill that all students be treated equally.”

“Districts are on notice that if they create categories in their policies, they must broaden them to include all students.

“The bill does not require them to remove those categories, but they can’t be so focused on a particular group that they ignore the overall issue.”

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