Friday, June 12, 2009


One of the many casualties of the turmoil in Albany is the repeated failure of the "Dignity For All Students Act". The legislation would prohibit harassment and discrimination based on actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex.

Unless I'm mistaken, I think a contingent of supporters from the Community Centre on Wall St had gone up to Albany on a past lobby day regarding this issue. The Kingston chapter of GLSEN and a number of community organizations, including the Teacher's Unions, have made their desires known and have worked a long time for it's passing.

The problem of bullying is very real. It happens in every school in the country. So Kingston wouldn't be any exception to the rule. Studies show that in middle and high school, the kid who is being regularly harassed and is terrified cannot succeed academically.

A number of New England states have already enacted such legislation with measurable results. With the closed campus starting next fall, I would expect that in close quarters, there may be more occasions of harassment. If the Senate gets there act together and gets this on the schedule before the close of session, we may have a tool to help keep the peace next year.

The anti-harassment bill is numbered: S 1987-A.

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