Eleven-year-old Marcel Neergaard of Oakridge, TN is leading a crusade against the proposed Classroom Protection Act, that prohibits “classroom instruction, course materials or other informational resources that are inconsistent with natural human reproduction.” Neergaard, who happens to be gay, was bullied so severely in middle school that he is now home schooled. In an op-ed for The Huffington Post, he contends that the bill would have required teachers to respond to students trying to report anti-gay bullying by saying something like, “That subject is inappropriate for your age group.” In a press statement Students First, an education activist group, called the Classroom Protection Act an “ill-conceived, harmful piece of legislation that would have represented a backward step for Tennessee schools and kids.” The bill has since died in the legislature. You can read Neergaard story in full here.
Despite steady growth in bullying research since the 1970s, the subject of gender and sexuality in relationship to bullying has largely been ignored. Yet this topic must be examined in order to make schools safer and more inclusive for all students. The following are excerpts from the Prevention of Bullying in Schools, Colleges, and Universities Report conducted by The American Education Research Association on latest gender-related bullying research and how we can stop it. Gendered harassment is any unwanted behavior that enforces traditional, heterosexual gender norms. It is related to, and can overlap with, bullying. Forms of gendered harassment include sexual harassment; homophobic, biphobic, or transphobic harassment; and harassment for gender-nonconformity (Meyer, 2008, 2009). State of Knowledge