Sunday, January 6, 2008

Irony in the Bullying Bill

One of the many bills slated for final approval before the current legislative comes to a close on Tuesday is a measure that would strengthen state law on hate crimes and bullying. The bill would amend existing law to include crimes based on gender and identity expression, national origin and disability.

The legislation, which specifically adds crimes based on "gender identity or expression" to existing law, is sponsored by two women who warn of the dangers of stereotypes. However, the bill itself is guilty of just that. Language in the legislation calls for creation of a Commission on Bullying in Schools that must include the Commissioner of the Department of Education, or “his” designee; and the Director of the Division on Civil Rights in the Department of Law and Public Safety, or “his” designee.

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