Waymon Hudson

Palm Beach County gets Fully Inclusive Bullying Policy

Filed By Waymon Hudson | November 10, 2008 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: bullying, Florida, gender expression, gender identity, Palm Beach County, sexual orientation

The Palm Beach County School Board has voted unanimously to include "sexual orientation" and "gender expression and/or identity" as a protected classes in a comprehensive policy to protect students against bullying and harassment. The Palm Beach County School Board's anti-bullying policy will now cover:

actual or perceived traits or characteristics, including, but not limited to, age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression and/or identity, physical attributes, physical, mental or educational ability or disability, ancestry, socio-economic background, political beliefs, linguistic preferences or familial status.

Students found to be in violation of the anti-bullying policy may be sent to detention, suspended or expelled for policy violations. School district employees found in violation of the policy may face more serious sanctions.

Rand Hoch, President of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, had this to say about the passage of the policy:

The Council has been insistent that gender expression be specifically included in the new anti-bullying policy. Students should not be subjected to name-calling, threats of violence, or physical violence just because the way they dress, speak or act fails to conform to other students' perceptions of masculinity or femininity.

The School Board of Palm Beach County has formally put students and school district employees on notice that the bullying based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and other factors will not be tolerated.

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