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Two pages for tolerance are not too many

Posted by Carol Rose, On Liberty  June 12, 2012 10:52 AM

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ACLU of Massachusetts communications director Christopher Ott wrote this guest blog.

Murray Waas and Christopher Rowland report in the Globe today that Gov. Mitt Romney scuttled a guide for stopping bullying in Massachusetts public schools because just two of its 120 pages addressed bullying of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth.

Of course, there are legitimate reasons for concern about some anti-bullying measures, which must walk a line between respect for free speech rights and allowing teachers and principals to ensure their students are safe and can get a quality education.

But this is not the reason the Romney administration gave for blocking this anti-bullying guide.

According to an email the Globe obtained by Alda Rego-Weathers, the deputy commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health at the time, there was another reason the Romney administration blocked this nearly complete report from being distributed:

Because this is using the terms 'bisexual' and 'transgendered,' DPH's name may not be used in this publication.

LGBT students bear the brunt of bullying that is pervasive and severe. It's troubling that Gov. Romney's administration appears to have given in to exactly the kind of misconceptions and outright animosity to LGBT students that this anti-bullying guide was meant to prevent.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Carol Rose is executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. A lawyer and journalist, Carol has spent her career working for and writing about human rights and civil liberties, both in the United States and abroad. More »

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