Last week The Florida Independent took a look at Florida’s anti-bullying law and found that, despite being a strong law, it is still lacking, especially in regard to LGBT protections.
On Tuesday the United States Department of Education issued a 10-page “guidance” letter (.pdf) to schools, colleges, and universities around the country to explain educators’ responsibility in protecting students from harassment. The letter says certain types of bullying could violate federal law, specifically the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Education Amendments of 1972, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
The letter specifically notes that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 includes LGBT protections.
Also on Tuesday, the Josephson Institute Center for Youth Ethics released the results of its 2010 Ethics of American Youth study, the largest survey (.pdf) to ever look at attitudes and conduct of American students.
Among the results, the center found 50 percent of students surveyed admitted to bullying someone within the last year and 47 percent say they were victims of bullying. The study surveyed 43,321 high school students in 2009 and 2010.
Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives gave voice vote approval to an amendment that would dedicate the majority of fines collected from the Gulf oil spill toward restoration of the area's ecosystem and economy. The Senate version of that amendment is more specific, in that it would require that 80 percent of Clean Water Act fines from the 2010 BP oil spill go toward a new Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund. The Senate is expected to vote on its version of the amendment as soon as this week.