School Board Protects Gay Students, Meets Opposition
Good news coming out of Chilliwack, British Columbia. The Chilliwack Board of Education has voted to update their bullying and harassment policies to directly address the homophobic bullying that has been making life very difficult for gay students there.
Great news, marred only by two trustees that actually opposed the anti-bullying measure: Heather Maahs and Martha Weins. Maahs explained her opposition to the press:
If you open the policy up for one group, you’d have to open it up for all groups of students. Nobody deserves to be harassed or bullied, but it’s difficult when you take one group of students and write a policy specifically for that group.
I won’t even justify that with an invective. If gay students are being tormented in ways that other students aren’t, it is the school board’s duty to address it with as many specific policies as required.
The school board already had a general bullying and harassment policy, but there was no official denunciation of homophobia, nor any specific training for educators and staff in the old policy. Without these in place, few bullied GLBT students feel comfortable to approach anyone for help. I say this from personal, painful experience—and with that in mind, the new anti-bullying policies get my enthusiastic, prolonged approval.
- Gay students get protection [BC Local News]