Anti-Bullying Bill Fails, LGBT Community Moves Forward - Siouxland News - KMEG 14 and FOX 44

Anti-Bullying Bill Fails, LGBT Community Moves Forward

(SIOUX CITY, IA) - A bill to fight "cyberbullying" and help students, including the LGBT community, didn't make it past Friday's legislative deadline.

One of Sioux City's most influential educators said "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender" students should be treated like equals, but some Iowa lawmakers stand in the way.

At the Governor's conference on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Youth in central Iowa this week, 700 teachers and students shared stories and defined bullying.
 
North High has a Gay Straight Alliance group that went to the conference. The group's advisor, Everett Wall, said bringing his students to conferences like these make a big difference now and down the road.
 
"A lot of the speakers talked about how your personal beliefs are your personal beliefs, but there's no justification for bullying. And unfortunately the LGBT community they seem to have a bull's-eye sometimes for bullying," said Wall.
 
But political controversy surrounded the conference as state lawmakers realized a bill to fight "cyberbullying" wouldn't pass the Iowa House.
 
"To hear we've progressed so far and we're still battling politicians was frustrating, but all you can do is yell out and advocate and tolerate those who are intolerant," said Wall.
 
"I'm shocked. I really thought they would agree with it," said North High junior Richard Karel.
 
Meanwhile, Sioux City Schools Superintendent Paul Gausman was named the 2013 Educator of the Year by Iowa Safe Schools, an organization that works to empower the LGBTA community.
 
"We know that students don't learn unless they feel safe in school. And it doesn't matter what kind of group they may choose to belong to or not. Our job is to educate all," said Gausman.
 
Democrat Representative Chris Hall told Siouxland News he blames the failure of the bill on wording that specifically aides the LGBT community.
 
"Obviously you want the best for your kids. You wouldn't just ignore your own children," said North High sophomore Lisandro Ramirez.
 
"We'll conquer the politics eventually. I think it's one step at a time. I mean maybe it starts with marriage and it moves from there, baby steps," said Wall.

Since Wednesday, three more U.S. senators have joined the growing list of lawmakers saying they support gay marriage.

It now includes Democrats Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Donnelly from the conservative states of North Dakota and Indiana and Democrat Bill Nelson of Florida. 53 senators from across the country are now publicly on board with the issue.

  • NewsNewsMore>>

  • Sergeant Bluff Community Rallies Together to Tackle Storm Damage

    Sergeant Bluff Community Rallies Together to Tackle Storm Damage

    (SERGEANT BLUFF, IA) Less than 24 hours after strong winds ripped through Sergeant Bluff, heavy duty machinery, firefighters, and volunteers took over. More >>
    (SERGEANT BLUFF, IA) Less than 24 hours after strong winds ripped through Sergeant Bluff, heavy duty machinery, firefighters, and volunteers took over.
    More >>
  • Spending on Iraq

    Spending on Iraq

    (WASHINGTON, D.C.) Countries around the world are sending humanitarian aid to Iraq in response to violence by Islamic militants. The U.S. has a goal of helping end the violence, and provide significant humanitarian assistance to the people of Iraq.More >>
    (WASHINGTON, D.C.) Countries around the world are sending humanitarian aid to Iraq in response to violence by Islamic militants. The U.S. has a goal of helping end the violence, and provide significant humanitarian assistance to the people of Iraq.More >>
  • Storm Damages Denison Area

    Storm Damages Denison Area

    (DENISON, IA) A Severe storm near the Crawford County town of Denison had powerful wind gusts that toppled over campers at a local campground, and damaged trees throughout town.More >>
    (DENISON, IA) A Severe storm near the Crawford County town of Denison had powerful wind gusts that toppled over campers at a local campground, and damaged trees throughout town.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

Siouxland News
100 Gold Circle
Dakota Dunes, SD 57049

Main Phone: 712-277-3554
Main Fax: 712-255-5250
Email: webmaster@siouxlandnews.com

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2009 WorldNow and Sinclair Communications, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.