Ovation: Seth’s Law Passes California Senate And Heads To Governor’s Desk!
When thirteen-year-old Seth Walsh took his own life last year, his was just one of several cut short as a result of bullying. His fellow students acknowledged that he had been bullied for a long time because he was gay and the federal government investigated his school for not responding. His death was the impetus for California’s AB 9 or “Seth’s Law”.
Last Friday, lawmakers passed Seth’s Law which, essentially, orders schools to stop looking the other way when students are bullied for the perceived or admitted sexual orientation. Public schools are now required to create policies for addressing incidents of bullying. They are also required to explicitly state in their policies that discrimination based on sexual orientation is now allowed.
“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.” – Wendy Walsh, Seth’s mother, testifying before the Senate Education Committee in support of Seth’s Law
The law, which had been approved by the California Assembly in June passed through the Senate on Friday and is now ready to be signed by Governor Jerry Brown.
Some might say that Seth Walsh, like so many other youngsters that are somehow “different”, was bullied to death. It’s possible that Seth’s Law will save many young lives.
UPDATE: Governor Jerry Brown signed Seth’s Law on Sunday, October 9, 2011
UPDATE: 07/02/12 – Seth’s Law goes into effect in California.
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