Friday, January 26, 2007

Let's Protect "The Children"

I think I'm going to have something to blog about everyday with the new Iowa Legislature, Governor, and U.S. Congress. Wednesday the Iowa Senate Education Committee passed Anti-Bullying (Senate Study Bill 1048) Bill.

Des Moines Register states that the bill would:
"require public and private schools to have policies that prevent and punish bullying or harassment of any student. It specifically identifies intimidation based on age, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, mental or physical ability, socioeconomic status andpolitical beliefs."
The problem that I have with this is that it has nothing to do with children at all (read this op-ed piece in the Chicago Tribune about things done for The Children). This is simply about acheiving special status for homosexuals and those confused about their gender. The Register points that out by pointing out that this is a "bill that would ban all bullying in Iowa schools, including bullying of gay students." That is the real jewel in this legislation for liberals throughout the state. This is simply the GBLT lobby trying to advance their political agenda now that they have a Legislature that is more than happy to do it.

I am also concerned about the affect that this may have on Catholic and Christian schools when they teach that homosexuality is a sin. Senator Jeff Angelo (R-Creston) one of the four who voted against this bill shares the same concern:
"If there's a student in the classroom who is gay or who is having a sexual orientation crisis they could go home and say, 'This was just a horrendous thing that happened in the classroom' and I could see an attorney saying, 'Yeah, there's a case there.' "
Also, is this the Legislature's role, and is this bill truly necessary? I don't think so. Just about every school district has anti-bullying policies that bans ALL bullying. I don't think the state needs to make kids' bad behavior a criminal offense, and make it even worse if the student being bullied falls into one of the "protected classes". It is also the parents' role to make sure that they discipline their children if they are bullies. The school should also should make sure that their policies have teeth (suspensions, etc.) and that their teachers have the authority to enforce the policies.

I am anti-bullying. As a youth pastor I didn't put up with it. When I was a Dean of Students in a Christian school I did not tolerate it. I was a victim of bullying when I was growing up, and do not want to see any child have to go through that. I see this bill for what it is, special status for GLBT folks.
Get in touch with your legislators and let them know this is bogus.

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