Monday, May 06, 2024

Laws Are Only Good If They Are Enforced.

Probably four or five years ago I went to a “town meeting” to discuss what laws we need here in Connecticut and I was amazed! Simply amazed that most of the complaints were from school children saying we need laws but most of what they wanted were already laws.
CT: ‘Safe haven’ for transgender youth? For some, not safe enough
Connecticut lawmakers and advocates are pushing for legislation offering protections for trans and LGBTQ+ students
CT Mirror
by Ally LeMaster and Luke Feeney
May 5, 2024


Among state lawmakers, the debate is far from settled. Connecticut has some of the most comprehensive legal protections in the country for transgender individuals, yet for the past two years, Republican lawmakers have supported legislation the LGBTQ+ community takes issue with — for example, banning trans athletes from competing in school sports and mandating schools to notify parents when a child starts using different pronouns.
But there is already a law for those!

However, these were also bill introduced by the Republicans this session (Which by the way ends Wednesday.) Why did they introduce those bills? Simple. They wanted to reverse the law.
“I came out in high school. I was relentlessly bullied,” said Juliett, “My school binders were thrown in the trash and had milk poured over them. My school locker was vandalized on my birthday. I would get harassing messages and things like that on social media.”
Did you know that Connecticut has a really strong non-bullying law? You can find out about here. Back ten, fifteen years ago I sat on the “Safe School Coalition” where we reviewed bullying topics. It was amazing at how many reported “Zero” bullying in their school systems for over a thousand students while much smaller towns reported many instances of bullying. They just ignored the law.
In 2022, Melissa Combs and other concerned parents reported Irving A. Robbins Middle School in Farmington to the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights after school administrators declined to investigate an incident where students ripped a Pride flag from the wall and stomped on it.
The laws need to be enforced! School systems know that there is no teeth behind the bill. They also know that when people go to buy homes they look at the school systems. “Oh look this school has a high number bullying incidents!” that is another incentive to not enforce the laws.
We need to get the laws enforced! not just lip-service, but laws that have teeth. We also need to get the word out about the laws on the books.

The CT Mirror writes that the anti-LGBTQ+ organization said...
“I am actually very encouraged, because we grew awareness at the General Assembly this year,” Leslie Wolfgang, director of public policy at the Family Institute, wrote in a statement to the Connecticut Mirror. “This session was just the first step in a multi-year process to grow awareness and look for ways to balance the needs of all children and their families in Connecticut.”
Heed his words. This is just a skirmish in the battle, they will be coming back, and back, and back every year until one time the Democrats will blink.

A disclosure: many of the people in this article I know.

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