LGBT Bullying: Why Does Rep. Sue Allen Oppose Specific Protections for Gay Students?

Categories: LGBT

Allen tells us that it would be discriminatory to specify certain groups of students in a policy -- and not others -- and says that these opponents have blocked a bill that would help all students, including LGBT ones.

"If these kids are bullied more and more and more, they're the ones that are going to benefit," she says of her bill. "A lot of the kids who will end up identifying themselves as gay or lesbian...they could be protected."

promo-sue-allen.jpg
via Facebook / PROMO
Gay rights group posted this today criticizing Allen's comments.

She continues, "The whole message is being manipulated."

Allen says that there are all kinds of bullying in schools. "Many hundreds of kids could be bullied for many reasons other than sexual orientation."

"Why are we always segregating?" she says.

This is the third year she's carried the bill -- and she says she will probably try again next time around.

PROMO, the statewide gay rights group, also fired off a statement in response to Allen, saying, "She singles out and takes issue with the two out members of the legislature for doing something notable -- trying to protect LGBT youth."

Here's Allen's newsletter in full, followed by the PROMO news release and a copy of the bill.

The Status Quo and Ideology Bully/ Anti-Bullying Legislation

This session was the third year I have carried a bill (this year was HB 134) to help schools address the issue of bullying and cyber-bullying. Again, for the third time, we had much debate and disagreement about school districts being able to, in their school policies, recognize certain "categories" of students as being more precious than other children.

I typically try to keep partisanship out of my message, but this is an issue for the Democrats who wish for certain students (GLBT -gay, lesbian, bisexual, & transgender) to be "enumerated" within school policies.

Our Republican majority did pass two versions of HB 134 three times in the House in spite of the more liberal House members. However, a Kansas City Senator (Senator Justus) threatened to filibuster all bills in the Senate which contained the language of HB 134, so our students lose again.

What "they" don't seem to understand is that any stronger policies help ALL students, even those they would have categorized.

So....it seems some people care more about arguing points to make some students more protected when what they've really done is to NO better protect ANY student.

What a pity! Missouri School Children lose again!

If you are as concerned as I am about the safety of our children, I recommend that you contact your state senators and representatives.

In particular, I would recommend that you contact Senator Jolie Justus at jolie.justus@senate.mo.gov.

Also, Representative Mike Colona would be happy to receive your emails. He can reached at mike.colona@house.mo.gov.

From PROMO:

Dear Equality Supporter; Yesterday Rep. Sue Allen sent out this email regarding her bullying bill: Unfortunately, there are quite a few problems - and inaccuracies - in her statement: She singles out and takes issue with the two out members of the legislature for doing something notable - trying to protect LGBT youth. Interestingly, she doesn't say WHY you should call Rep. Colona. Perhaps it is because he is the ONLY out Rep in the Missouri House?

Rep. Allen also neglects to inform the reader about the provisions of her own bill. While it does mandate training requirements for teachers and administrators and adds a definition of cyber-bulling, she doesn't mention that she wants to continue a ban on requiring that school officials find out what groups of students are most often targeted for bullying (we call these enumerated categories). It's ironic that, Rep. Allen - from the party of local control - wants to FORBID school districts from choosing to make their own policy with regards to protecting students by listing those individuals and characteristics most often bullied.

Please give Rep. Allen a call (573-751-9765) or email (Sue.Allen@house.mo.gov) and tell her to lift the ban on protecting LGBT youth!

Rep. Allen also doesn't disclose that this bill was originally crafted by former State Senator Jane Cunningham, who has a rather notorious past of treating LGBT youth disrespectfully and is the reason why an enumeration ban currently exists in state statute.

Rep. Allen implies, rather divisively, that the comprehensive anti-bullying legislation that she opposes would only apply to "certain students (GLBT -gay, lesbian, bisexual, & transgender) to be 'enumerated' within school policies" when in fact such legislation is intended to address bullying also on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, physical appearance, disability, and other categories where children endure bullying more frequently.

When asked directly why she won't support enumerated categories, Rep. Allen will state it is because she wants to protect ALL students. That sounds noble, but year over year, discrimination happens and the burden of case law shows that protected categories do actually reduce discrimination. The ban on enumerations has been in place since 2006 and the statistics on LGBT youth bullying are only getting worse.

And let's not forget that, while Rep. Allen claims to want to protect all students, we know her colleagues often times want to deny the very existence of LGBT youth.

Please give Rep. Allen a call (573-751-9765) or email (Sue.Allen@house.mo.gov) and tell her to lift the ban on protecting LGBT youth!

The bill:

House Bill 134

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.


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12 comments
mojobullet
mojobullet

Well, we should all remember this when she comes up for re-election again!  She is most likely one of these radical hatred-spewing teapartiers!  She definitely wont get my vote.


JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

Why is bullying a gay kid worse than a straight kid? Is it not all bullying? Do not the straight kids require as much protection from bullying as a gay child? why add a clause that ends up including everyone - straight, gay, asexual, transgender, dual-gender, and purple and pink unicorns are all covered. The bill says "all students" - are not gay students still students? I want redheads specifically mentioned in the bill. Redheads have been bullied for hundreds of years, too. Time we redheads get special mention in the laws so people know we exist and are equal.

irish14
irish14

Bullying is a huge problem worldwide. That is why parents, cannot stick our heads in the sand when it comes to bullying. We cannot live in denial in the hope that it will not happen to our child. We need to arm ourselves with strategies to educate our children from the youngest age and helping them to learn and grow and to feel confident about themselves, coming out of these situations is the key. Bad things will happen. It’s a part of life and sometimes all you can do is be present for them.  As a way of helping everyone especially the parents, who still find it quite hard to manage issues like this, I found  this great service which featured a safety app which gets me connected to a Safety Network or escalate my call to the nearest 911 when needed, it  has other cool features that are helpful for your kids with just a press of a Panic Button. Check it here: https://login.safekidzone.com/mobilesafety/?CampaignLandingPage=RelentlessProtectionSafeLink&refcode=relentlessprotection&%3Ba_aid=514ae2c64ba1d&%3Ba_bid=2b29a9fc#

Christopher Harrison
Christopher Harrison

If the point is to say "all bullying will be stomped down equally", then I'm ok with removing labels from the law. If the point is that she thinks equal treatment for "the Gays" is somehow special treatment - and he language and behaviour certainly make it appear so - then she's full of shit. You don't want school districts to be required to specifiy who may not be bullied, that's good in theory because it means no one can be bullied...but not requiring it and not allowing it are not the same. Prohibiting a school district from being specific absolutely allows people to work around the law. "Oh, I didn't realizing calling the gay kid a fag was bullying." Since this logic has been displayed repeatedly, all over the country, it's clear that we DO need to ennumerate absolutely what is and is not bullying, and that it will not be tolerated in any situation.

Lena Henry
Lena Henry

Not ALL children are bullied, usually kids of specific identities, as listed by Benoit, require our protection. Shield those children and you will be shielding every kid. Do nothing or exempt some kids then all kids become bully game. Categorizing is not always a bad thing ... categorizing kids in schools for positive reasons already exists.

Steven Simpson-Black
Steven Simpson-Black

"Sexual orientation" also covers bullying by gay students against straight students. Only a moron believes that "sexual orientation" is only a gay thing. Straight people have a "sexual orientation." It's called heterosexuality. Rivers make a difference!

Lossy Dreamsequence
Lossy Dreamsequence

She is twisting the definition of the enumerations leading people to believe that she's being pinned down for LGBT rights. As the other poster mentioned the enumerations would cover gender, religion, ethnicity, etc. which is what bullying is. Even if a child was bullied for being richer this could be covered in an enumeration. The schools would decide the needs for the school children because they know best. It's down-right dirty for her to twist the issue and call out to openly gay members. Like the article says it sounds like bullying to me. As a female who was bullied for my developing body I would support these enumerations. This would cover the harassment that kids are faced with. What sort of harassment and cyber-bullying is not going to be covered that she is so concerned about. Additionally, the openly homosexual members are not making a strong enough emphasis on what else an enumeration would cover other than LGBT. This is politics at it's worst where members argue amongst each other while minimizing the policy. It's always counterproductive and frustrating.

Allison Benoit
Allison Benoit

She opposes removing the language that bans schools from delineating certain types of students that are victims of bullying. The thing is that delineation isn't just about LGBT students. Delineation identifies students by religion, race, gender, ethnicity, economic background, body type, etc. She's the one making delineation about LGBT students.

Marita Donalds
Marita Donalds

Now we're categorizing children??! ALL children have to be protected EQUALLY !!

Dawn Loehr
Dawn Loehr

Why wouldn't we safeguard against all kinds of bullying not just a specific group?

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

can't be "equal" and "protected" at the same time.

JJ O'Brand
JJ O'Brand

What an abject moron, all children, should be protected equally, but her god says, "Gay sex=evil", so everyone should be able to bully the "gay kids". Just another reason, in the myriad, of why religion needs to be taxed, like yesterday.

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