Minnesota anti-bullying bill to help protect lesbian and gay students

One of the nation’s strongest local GLBT family organizations – Rainbow Families – is crafting the Safe Schools for All Bill in cooperation with OutFront, Minnesota’s biggest LGBT lobbying group, and state Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL- Minneapolis.

According to the Minnesota Independent, “The bill will essentially fix the [“model policy”] statute and broaden it beyond the Human Rights Act to include physical appearance,” as well as gender identity and sexual orientation.

Alan Horowitz of St. Paul Public Schools’ Out For Equity program said Safe Schools for All would give local advocates across Minnesota “resources to go to their school boards and community meetings and ask for policies” to protect LGBT students and students from LGBT families.

Both Minneapolis and St. Paul have long-standing policies protecting these students, he said, and have created offices to train teachers and administrators to deal with anti-LGBT bullying and help students educate their peers about what it’s like to be an LGBT student or to have LGBT parents.

Language for the Safe Schools for All bill is being finalized, and it will be circulated for review in a few days. It’s hard to gauge its prospects should it hit Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s desk, although there’s promise because it requires no funding and targets not only LBGT students.

Rainbow Families is the Midwest office of Family Equality Council. Previously one of the strongest local LGBT family organizations in the country, Rainbow Families joined the Family Equality Council in June of 2008. Rainbow Families continues to provide local programs to the LGBT families, extended family members and allies in the upper Midwest region while also joining Family Equality Council in its fight for full family equality throughout all 50 states.

Image: Rainbow Families

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