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Learning From Philadelphia’s Successful Anti-Bullying Efforts

The Bilerico Project’s Kyle Bella highlights the success of Philadelphia in tackling anti-LGBT bullying, noting that the city’s Board of Education has recognized the unique challenges faced by LGBT students since 1991, defined anti-LGBT harassment and offered “step-by-step complaint procedures that more specifically list how to report problems and how the district must handle these reports.” While bullying has certainly not been eliminated, educators believe that “developing a district wide curriculum that would include LGBTQ content, specifically books and movies, divided by elementary, middle and high school levels” would allow students to talk about LGBT people in a positive light and decrease instances of abuse. The approach is a stark contrast to the so-called “neutrality” policy adopted by Minnesota’s largest school district, Anoka-Hennepin Schools, which prevents educators from addressing LGBT issues. Nine teens in the Minnesota district’s schools have committed suicide in the last two years, and the policy is being challenged in court.

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