Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

“Seth’s Law” Passes in California; Protects LGBT Students from Bullying

Seth Walsh, 13-year-old "Bullycide" Victim, Honored Posthumously With Anti-LGBT Bullying Law

Sacramento, California – California lawmakers passed a new law to protect LGBT school students from harassment and bullying on Friday, named for 13-year-old “bullycide” victim, Seth Walsh.  The Advocate reports that  AB 9, “Seth’s Law,” makes it illegal for school teachers, staff, and officials to look the other way when students are being tormented for their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.  It also requires school systems to create policies and programs to address anti-LGBT bullying. The suicide of Seth Walsh in Tehachapi, California, spurred Golden State legislators to pass the bill, since a national outcry was sparked by the youth’s suicide after months of ceaseless harassment for being gay.  Since both houses of the legislature have passed the bill, it now goes on to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown to be signed into law.

Wendy Walsh, Seth’s mother, testified in favor of the bill as it moved through the State Assembly and Senate: “I can’t bring my son back. But the California legislature can make a difference today to protect young people across our state just like Seth who are or are thought to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Schools need to take harassment and bullying seriously when parents or students tell them about it, and when they see it and hear it on the school campus.”

During a flood of national stories about LGBT teens who committed suicide in 2010 because of school bullying, Seth’s story stood out enough that a federal investigation of his school system was launched by the U.S. Department of Education.  Students, teachers, and administrators were interviewed by federal investigators, spurring the school system to initiate changes in it policies and procedures toward LGBT students.

September 3, 2011 - Posted by | Anglo Americans, Anti-LGBT hate crime, Bullying in schools, California | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

  1. The sad thing is, there still continues to be a flood of suicides and murders that are no longer being picked up in the media because it is seen as old news. Though, I was very happy that the issue recieved as much attention as it did last year. The push to solve the problem continues. On my own blog I just published and interview of a woman who’s classmate recently died due to “bullycide”. Hopefully more states take this route to protect all students in regards to bullying.

    Comment by Jacob Woods | September 3, 2011


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