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Make Bullying Policies Work

I am a Buffalonian and I am shocked by the reception of Jamey Rodemeyer’s death and the reaction to the kids who bullied him. I am writing to call attention to the fact that people are forgetting one simple truth: Jamey identified as gay. Gay students are bullied disproportionately (more often) compared to their straight counterparts. We have to have policies not only in our schools but in our communities that bullying based on any reason—and list them—is not tolerated. Leaving sexual orientation and gender identity out of bullying policies and not even acknowledging that this is a reason gives other students a free pass to bully LGBT students.

Parents getting involved in their child’s education can help curb bullying, as well as school officials setting a tone that this will not be tolerated. Our workplaces are also filled with adult bullies; we need to make sure that we cover bullying in the workplace, and cyber bullying to prevent another Scott Walsh, Jamey Rodemeyer, Raymond Chase, Zachary Harris.

We have the power to do put an end to bullying We also have to understand the climate we set by telling our kids that being gay is a mental illness, and conjuring up the stereotypical images of gay lesbian bisexual and transgender people that have no basis in reality. We have to stop demonizing LGBT people as if we are the enemy of all that is good and true. We have to stop allowing religious groups to sway us to believing that all gay people want is sex and to molest children.

That is root by which LGBT bullying thrives, that is the root by which society allows us to vote on the rights of a minority. This cannot continue.

> Terry Purdue, Buffalo

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