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

Categories: LGBT

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Rep. Sue Allen.
An anti-bullying bill at the Missouri legislature has died -- and Representative Sue Allen, the sponsor of the proposal, is now casting blame on openly gay lawmakers.

At the center of the fight is a debate around specified protections for LGBT students, which Allen opposes. "These are people who think everything is about that issue," Allen, a Republican, tells Daily RFT, referring to LGBT issues. "Because they want sexual orientation added, they are keeping all children from being protected."

LGBT advocates and lawmakers -- who want schools to have the opportunity to outline protections for gay students in their policies -- see it very differently and argue that Allen's stubbornness on this is offensive and backwards.

House Bill 134, Allen's proposal, would mandate that every district adopt an anti-bullying policy and would establish some required components, including a statement prohibiting bullying, a requirement for employees to report bullying, a procedure for reporting and investigating accusations -- and more.

On the face of it, the proposal seems fairly non-controversial, but one part of the bill has, it seems, derailed the whole thing:

Policies shall treat all students equally and shall not contain specific lists of protected classes of students who are to receive special treatment.

Critics of the proposal say this is effectively a blanket ban on any policies specifying protections for LGBT students, who, studies show, frequently face bullying in Missouri schools.

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State Senator Jolie Justus.

Specifications in school policies, formally known as "enumerated categories," are proven to help reduce LGBT discrimination, advocates say.

"She's blocking her own legislation to make a point about not protecting LGBT kids," State Senator Jolie Justus, a Kansas City Democrat, who is openly gay, tells Daily RFT.

Allen, however, blames Justus -- and mentiones Rep. Mike Colona, who is also openly gay -- in a recent newsletter lamenting the death of her bill.

Allen writes:

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.

Justus points out that she and other opponents of the bill simply want local school districts to have the option of specifying LGBT students in their policies and that the bill as written, forbids them.

"The state...should leave it up to local school boards," Justus says.

And these kinds of enumerations for LGBT students can be important, she adds.

"Sometimes, educators and administrators have never dealt with [bullying of LGBT students]," she says. "Studies show enumerated categories help...so they can make important decisions about how to proceed."

She adds of Allen's newsletter, "She specifically targeted...two openly gay legislators, because we wanted to protect local control.... To me, that's bullying in its own right."

Continue for our interview with Rep. Sue Allen.

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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 Miguel Angel-Evil Harrison
Christopher Miguel Angel-Evil 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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