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Calif. School Board to Rethink Antibullying Program

Calif. School Board to Rethink Antibullying Program


On Wednesday, the Vallejo, Calif., school board will discuss changes to "Respect for All," its controversial antibullying program that has sharply divided parents since its implementation last fall.

Much of the controversy stemmed from two short films that featured LGBT families. While several parents felt the information presented was either offensive or damaging to their children, they were not allowed to opt them out of the program.

Last month Vallejo City Unified School District superintendent Ramona Bishop offered suggestions on how to retool the program to make it more effective while also gaining the support of more parents. One proposal involved partnering with local gay-straight alliances and other LGBT groups, as well as developing support materials for families to take home.

The antibullying program began as the result of a settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued the school district after a lesbian student claimed she had been discriminated against by teachers and staff at Jesse Bethel High School.

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