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N.C. house passes
antibullying bill

N.C. house passes
antibullying bill

A bill approved by the North Carolina general assembly would require public schools to adopt clear policies to counter bullying that would protect all students, specifically including LGBT youths. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Rick Glazier, a Cumberland Democrat, passed the house with a final vote of 73-46. The legislation will move forward to the senate for a vote in the coming weeks.

Equality NC, a statewide LGBT rights group, partnered with child advocacy group Covenant With North Carolina's Children to draft and lobby for the bill. Equality NC executive director Ian Palmquist said in a press release that bullying is too often ignored by school administrators: "It ought to be enough to just say, 'All bullying is bad," but too often 'all' doesn't seem to include LGBT youth and others most at risk. By laying out clear guidelines, this bill will give teachers the tool they need to truly protect every student."

Rep. Mark Hilton, a Catawba County Republican, made a proposal before a preliminary panel hearing to exclude identifying characteristics like race and sexual orientation.

"It's apparent to me that the folks that are really pushing this portion of the bill is the homosexual community, and the reason for that is to bring acceptance and legitimacy to a lifestyle that most people think is immoral," Hilton said during the panel debate last week, according to The [Raleigh] News & Observer. Hilton's suggested change was voted down 30-16.

Seven out of 10 North Carolina students admitted that classmates are bullied because of their sexual orientation, according to a 2005 Harris Interactive survey. (The Advocate)

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