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Mass. state House passes updates to anti-bullying law

Thursday, February 27, 2014

BOSTON — The Massachusetts House has approved a bill designed to build on the state’s 2010 anti-bullying law in part by strengthening protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and students with disabilities.

Massachusetts state capitol in Boston.

Massachusetts state capitol in Boston.

The bill passed 143-4 on Wednesday. It would create new reporting measures and recognize certain populations as more vulnerable to bullying.

The 2010 law was designed to crack down on bullying and cyber-bullying and require schools to establish anti-bullying programs.

The bill would create a new data collection and reporting mechanism designed to help educators, administrators and legislators identify trends and respond to them.

Schools would be required to report bullying data annually to state education officials. The combined data would be passed on to the attorney general and lawmakers.

The bill now heads to the Massachusetts Senate.

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7 more reader comments:

  1. Makes me proud to live here.

    Posted on Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 3:56pm
  2. But can still bar them from marching in parades. Wtg

    Posted on Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 4:16pm
  3. LOVE this state!

    Posted on Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 4:25pm
  4. Hopefully also a restorative justice approach

    Posted on Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 4:33pm
  5. As much as I love my home State – and I do, make no mistake – there are days when I feel like moving out East . . .

    Posted on Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 4:47pm
  6. MA has had Equal Marriage since May 17, 2004.

    We just got “An Act Relative to Gender Identity”, that went into effect on July 1, 2012.

    The Massachusetts law prohibits discrimination in


    PLACES OF PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION (however, there is no explicit protection for gender identity) Why in a progressive and pioneering state like MA do our protection laws not cover Gender Identity in 2014, a decade after we became the first state to embrace Equal Marriage?

    This law prohibits discrimination in several key areas and defines gender identity as “a person’s gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth.”

    The law also includes ways for a person to show proof of his/her gender identity “including, but not limited to, medical history, care or treatment of the gender-related identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held, as part of a person’s core identity . . .”

    Posted on Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 5:12pm
  7. These are the things that need to be passed and not opposed.

    Posted on Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 5:17pm