"Bullying Bill" Update
Special Report - July 3, 2008
On Wednesday afternoon, by a 6056 vote, the North Carolina House voted to "Not Concur" with the Senate version of HB 1366School Violence Prevention Act, sending the bill to a conference committee. This action will provide the bill sponsor, Rep. Rick Glazier (D-Cumberland), and pro-homosexual activists the opportunity to try and restore a provision in the bill that would recognize "sexual orientation" and "gender identity or expression" in the same legally protected status as race, religion, national origin, etc.
Last year, the State House passed a version of HB 1366 that included "sexual orientation" and "gender identity or expression" in a list of enumerated classifications to receive special protection under public school anti-bullying and harassment policies. When the bill was considered in the Senate, that chamber removed the enumeration sentence that included the terms "sexual orientation" and "gender identity or expression" from the bill. The Senate action strengthened the bill by ensuring that anti-bullying policies would apply equally to all public school students in all circumstances. When the Senate version of HB 1366 was returned to the House on the last day of the 2007 Session, the House could have accepted the Senate version and the law would now be in place. Instead, Rep. Glazier had the bill sent to the House Judiciary 1 Committee to keep it alive for the 2008 Session. This would provide time for pro-homosexual activists to lobby the Senate and try to get that chamber to back down from its position against the inclusion of these controversial terms.
On Tuesday of this week, the House Judiciary 1 Committee voted 86 to recommend that the House "Not Concur" with the Senate version of HB 1366, and on Wednesday afternoon the House voted to send the bill to a conference committee. House and Senate leaders will appoint conferees who will attempt to reach an agreement on the bill.
Because the State Board of Education issued a directive in 2004 requiring every local school board in the state adopt anti-bullying and harassment policies, those policies already exist. The House version of HB 1366 would essentially force local school boards to amend their existing policies to include special protected status for "sexual orientation" and "gender identity or expression," and would necessarily result in teacher training on how to discuss these issues with children as young as kindergarten.
Bill Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council commented, “This is one of the most harmful bills I have seen in twenty years. Inclusion of the terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in the bill will ensure that conversations about these topics will take place in our public schools. In most cases, these will be conducted by teachers, counselors, and other authority figures who will, by the very nature of the conversation, be promoting the idea that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender lifestyles are perfectly normal and acceptable.”
Copyright © 2008. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.