May 4, 2010
>Sirdeaner Walker Talks About Importance of Federal Safe Schools Improvement Act at MA Signing Ceremony
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed into law a general anti-bullying bill yesterday. While GLSEN was disappointed that the final bill did not enumerate specific categories of students often targeted for bullying — something essential to protect students from bullying based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression — we were proud to be represented at the signing ceremony by new GLSEN National Board of Directors member Sirdeaner Walker.
The Walker family, who lost 11-year-old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover to suicide a year ago after enduring anti-gay bullying at school, and GLSEN Communications Director Anthony Ramos also had a private meeting with Gov. Patrick, during which he expressed interest in exploring ways to add enumeration to the regulation.
Sirdeaner Walker also gave the following speech at the ceremony about the importance of the federal Safe Schools Improvement Act, which would require schools that receive federal funding to implement enumerated anti-bullying policies. You can view the speech on Facebook here.
I am very thankful to Governor Patrick and the Massachusetts Legislature for bringing attention to the crisis of bullying and harassment in our commonwealth schools.