February 9, 2010
>Bullied At School By An Unlikely Culprit; Ohio Teacher Shamelessly Humiliates Student
>Your son or daughter comes home from school to tell you that they were humiliated in front of their friends and that they don’t want to go back. You ask them what happened; was it on the playground or in gym class, and they say it was during class and it was their teacher.
Can you imagine the disbelief followed by caustic anger that would erupt in you? Well that unspeakable scenario is exactly what happened to Amanda Anoai and her 11-year-old son this past September, forcing them to transfer schools.
His teacher and teacher’s aide reportedly put the boy’s hair in pigtails and showcased him to the other classrooms, encouraging other students to make fun of him for his long hair. If that wasn’t bad enough, the attorney representing the family in a lawsuit against the school believes the teachers were aware that just earlier that month, the boy lost his infant brother and was still dealing with the grief.
I’m not sure what is worse, the teachers’ inexcusable and reckless behavior, or the other teachers who stood by and let this happen in the first place. Currently, there are only 16 states and the District of Columbia that have safe schools laws in place to protect students based on sexual orientation. Of that 16, there are only 12 states and D.C. that protect students based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.
The Safe Schools Improvement Act currently introduced Congress would ensure that in cases such as this the schools have specific policies regarding bullying and harassment. It would also provide school districts with preventative information and guidework for school personnel so that these stories are handled swiftly and earnestly.