Bil Browning

Christians Preserve Right to Bully Suicidal Kids

Filed By Bil Browning | March 03, 2011 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: anti-bullying, homosexual agenda, Indiana Family Institute, teen suicide

Check out this bit of "pro-family" crowing from the Indiana Family Institute's newsletter listing all of their accomplishments in the Indiana persecution.jpglegislature this session:

Anti-Free Speech homosexual "bullying" bill dies in Senate committee. The homosexual lobby was pushing SB 538, a seemingly innocuous "anti-bullying" bill. Homosexual advocates around the country and here in Indiana are attempting to use the tragic suicides of several allegedly homosexual high school students to thrust their agenda on the public schools. This bill would have given homosexual advocates in schools a weapon to silence completely appropriate discussions by students who oppose the homosexual political agenda by opening up the definition of bullying beyond that which the average Hoosier would recognize. The far Left homosexual lobby believes any opposition to homosexuality, even peaceful and appropriate civil discussion, can be a form of bullying. The bill was voted on and defeated in committee and died.

What a horrid piece of legislation! Oh, those radical homosexual activists! Somehow, I'm doubtful that the IFI's description is apt since the legislation was sponsored by a Republican. Oh, wait. That's right. It's not accurate at all.

What was the bill actually about? It's after the jump.

According to a press release from the sponsoring Republican senator, Tom Wyss of Fort Wayne, the bill would strengthen the state's existing anti-bullying law by including electronic communications and establishing best practices standards.

Currently, Indiana law defines bullying as any verbal, physical or other act committed by a student with the intent of harassing, ridiculing, intimidating or harming another student. Wyss said Senate Bill 538 would expand the definition to include verbal and written communications transmitted digitally or electronically.

"Often advancements in technology provide opportunities for some individuals - especially students - to harass and embarrass their peers in new ways," Wyss said. "I believe updating the definition of bullying to include digital or electronic communications is necessary so that school officials can respond to these types of bullying incidents appropriately."

Here's the digest of the bill from the Statehouse website:

DIGEST OF INTRODUCED SENATE BILL 538

Bullying prevention. Requires the department of education to evaluate and make available to school corporations effective models of bullying prevention plans and to provide an appropriate incentive to school corporations with policies that encourage student participation in extracurricular activities designed to prevent bullying. Requires a school corporation to publish the number of bullying incidents that have occurred in the school corporation's annual performance report. Requires a school corporation's discipline and safety plan that is developed with parental assistance to address bullying prevention and response. Provides that the advisory board of the division of professional standards may adopt rules that set standards for teacher and administrator continuing education in the prevention of and response to bullying. Amends the definition of "bullying" to specify that the term includes verbal or written communications transmitted in any manner, including digitally or electronically. Requires school corporation discipline rules to include written reports of bullying incidents and responses to the incidents, and annual reports of the number of bullying incidents and responses to the department of education. Provides that the department of education may audit compliance with bullying prevention, intervention, and reporting requirements at any time.

Indiana's culture of queer fear is being taken to new extremes in this year's legislative session. First, the House passed a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages and civil unions that will soon be picked up by the state Senate. Then the Senate introduced a bill to outlaw domestic partner benefits for public employees. Now the Senate has killed an anti-bullying bill because it includes LGBT students.

Why was the legislation introduced? The suicide of 15 year old Billy Lucas from Greensburg who took his own life after constant bullying by kids who thought he was gay. Isn't it funny how a "pro-family" organization could care less if children are bullied? That's some twisted fucking logic.


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Regan DuCasse | March 3, 2011 1:12 PM

"Completely appropriate discussions." ?!

How is reiterating to someone over and over again (in contradiction to reality) that they are a threat, diseased, inferior, and worthy of admonishments and injustice?
How is this different from doing so against a Jewish student?
Or a black one?

At some point or other, a religious opinion or belief has been used to abuse others and females for centuries.
How is such a thing rightful when the RESULTS are children tormenting another to DEATH?
Abusing and assaulting each other to criminal extent that wouldn't be accepted in the adult workplace or any place?

"Appropriate discussion."?
Never. Not in an educational institution that's obligated to teach in ways that create a safe and knowlegable environment that is conducive to human progress and understanding.
They are not obligated to do just the opposite. What justification would there be for that?
Are we living in the 21st century where human and civil rights are moral and ethical goals, or are they trying to force brutal ancient and primitive societal goals on a single group of people all over again?
What benefit to children is a school less interested in a Star Trek like future, but more in an Inquisition type past?

We need to counter this sort of propaganda by pointing out that the fundamentalists do not have a right to disrupt or ruin the learning environment for kids they perceive as non-Christian (including Muslims), gay, trans, foreigners, whatever.

If we set the standard that the learning environment must be protected for all students, then we can fight this sort of "free speech" B.S. -- but without that approach, we run the risk of the debate simply being our message against theirs.

They might respond by claiming that the presence of the gay kid ruins their learning environment -- but that argument is transparently the same one used against school integration in the 50's and 60's, and it just doesn't stick anymore.

Regan, Steve, Alex ... you each have good points ... but we can pass laws until we are blue in the face ... and the truth is that NOTHING will protect these kids the way that courageous and sympathetic teachers and school administrators can and ought to.

It's just more Christian privilege. The utterly absurd notion that just because something is justified by religion, it becomes magically right.

The opposite is true. Per definition, religion doesn't have any evidence. As such, it deserves more scrutiny than other things.

Wait.... that bill doesn't even mention SO or GI like other states have been doing. How are they reading gays into that bill?

And of course anti-gay bullying is part-n-parcel with being Christian. It's in the Bible. One of the middle parts.

We need fierce teachers to stand up for their students..! These so-called 'xtians' have NO place in a classroom..
Let me say that again: Religion has no place in a classroom.