Placing LGBTQ students in a "risk" category -- positions the group of students identifying as LGBTQ as a potential "problem" for the school that requires a solution, rather than as a group of students bringing untapped assets and strengths into the school community.
It is clear that if a student calls another a racial epithet or a derogatory homophobic slur, that bullying is probably because of a characteristic, but bullying is often much more nuanced than this scenario.
Over the course of the last ten years, support for federal bullying legislation has only grown, garnering bipartisan support and the endorsement of SSIA by President Barack Obama last year. The time to pass this bill is now.
The Tennessee "Pro-Bully" Bill is a diabolically clever effort to defend ridicule and exclusion in the name of God, while inadvertently providing a potential means to defeat some of the most politicized of Tennessee's conservative educational agendas.
Bullies are universally loathed because their casual cruelty leaves a scar on your soul. But NJ's exhaustive law, which elevates everyday conflict into a state of emergency, seems both ill-conceived and a waste of scarce resources.
Evidence supporting the so-called epidemic of bullying is scarce. As with many other social and medical phenomena, it is unclear whether the behavior has increased or the reporting of the behavior has increased.