Arkansas Legislature passed bill requiring anti-bullying policy in every school district

Yep, Arkansas:

The Arkansas House has given final passage to a bill that would require school districts to enact anti-bullying policies that take Facebook and other electronic forums into consideration.

The anti-bullying policies bill passed the Senate 34-0 and it cleared the House Monday on a 68-18 vote.

Rep. David Powers of Hope spoke for the bill on behalf of Sen. David Johnson. Powers says current anti-bullying rules aren’t working in many cases.

The bill calls for districts to provide training and to investigate every credible report of bullying and document the result.

That reporting and documentation includes bullying based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The legislation, which can be found here, includes protection for sexual orientation and gender identity. The definition of “Bullying” states that it “may address an attribute of the other student.” Protections for LGBT youth were secured by including gender identity and sexual orientation in the definition of “Attribute”:

“Attribute” means an actual or perceived personal characteristic including without limitation race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, socioeconomic status, academic status, disability, gender, gender identity, physical appearance, health condition, or sexual orientation;

Nice work, Arkansas.

Just need Governor Beebe to sign the bill into law now.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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