I'm Just A Bill

Ohio Legislators Castrate Anti-Bullying Bill Before Approving

We know that anti-bullying laws are a good thing, so we’re happy that Ohio Senate Education Committee just passed the so-called “Jessica Logan Act,” designed to stop harassment of students on and off campus. But we’re pissed that the bill was pretty much declawed before it passed.

According to Equality Ohio director Ed Mullen, the committee only passed HB116 after it was stripped of, “a provision that would prohibit bullying based on any real or perceived characteristics of the student, such as race, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity, and the bill did not include enumeration of particular characteristics.”

What else do kids terrorize other kids about if not “real or perceived characteristics”—what kind of peanut butter their mom makes their sandwiches with?

Mullen explains how important it is to spell out what kind of attacks aren’t kosher: “In Ohio, nearly one-fifth (18%) of Ohio students at schools with generic policies felt unsafe, while only 2% of students at schools with enumerated policies did… LGBT students in states that don’t require enumeration have the same experience of bullying as those without any anti-bullying and harassment laws at all.”

Now HB116 looks so vague the only way it can protect LGBT students is if they roll it up and hit their attackers with it.

Photo: Schoolhouse Rocks