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Bullying and sexual orientation

November 8, 2010

The State Dept. of Ed. shines a spotlight on bullying today, specifically for students who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer. State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist says she planned the event in response to a several teen suicides that have recently been linked to playground taunting.

“I don’t want to wait until a student in one of our schools is hurt,” Gist said. “We wanted to be much more proactive than that.”

A gay student at Johnson & Wales University committed suicide earlier this year, though friends say they do not believe the act was motivated by teasing.

Some parents elsewhere in the country accuse gay rights activists of using all the concern about bullying as an excuse to promote a political agenda, reports The New York Times.

The RIDE forum on bullying and sexual orientation begins this afternoon at 3:30 the Providence Career and Technical Academy. The panel includes Karen Izzo from East Greenwich High School, James Robinson and Rory Mann of Youth Pride, Inc. and State Senator John Tassoni, chair of the Senate Commission on anti-bullying.

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