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Youth & Bullying News

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that schools are legally obligated to protect LGBT students from discrimination and bullying in the same way employees are are protected in the workplace. -

Bullying Moves From Playground To Internet (Providence, Rhode Island) Ryan Patrick Halligan was bullied for months online. Classmates sent the 13-year-old Essex Junction, Vt., boy instant messages calling him gay. He was threatened, taunted and insulted incessantly by so-called cyberbullies.

My thoughts: I think New Jersey got it right. Cyber-bullying is not the issue - you can't prevent bullying all together. What you can do is let kids know it is okay to be gay and you are there for them. You can let kids know there are consequences for any kind of anti-lgbt bullying. I doubt Ryan Patrick would have killed himself if he had known there were pro-gay supporters all around him. And I also doubt the bullying he endured was limited to just the internet. Straight kids who get called gay through myspace do not kill themselves over it. Gay kids who feel threatened, isolated, and unsupported - kill themselves at a rate 5 times that of their straight peers.

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