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Parents of Murdered Son Host Birthday Party at Capitol

April 28th, 2008 by flanews

Soon your child could have more protection against the school bully. A bill requiring schools to set up standards to spot and report bullying passed the House. As Whitney Ray tells us, gay and lesbian groups want the bill amended to offer more protection for homosexual students.

Monday Ryan Skipper would have been 27. His parents were at the Capitol to celebrate his birthday and morn the son they lost to a hate crime.

You get up everyday and you say, Im going to take another day. And you do something that day to make a difference, said Pat Mulder.

Ryan was openly gay. Last year he was stabbed to death in Polk County. His parents say the bullying started in school long before he was murdered.

He endured name calling, throwing stones and sticks at his vehicle as he left the school parking lot, assaulted after school, Ryans Stepfather Lynn Mulder said.

An anti-bullying bill passed the House. Gay and Lesbian groups want the Senates version to specially address bullies who pick on homosexuals. Gays and lesbians are the victims on one out of every three hate crimes. House sponsor Ellyn Bogdanoff said amending the bill to specifically address any group would take the focus off the legislations true intent.

Whether or no the child belongs to a particular category or not, theres a behavioral issue with that bully. Theyd bully anybody and for what every reason because they have a need to bully people and thats were we need to focus, said Bogdanoff.

Right now the focus for lawmakers is on getting the bill passed before the end of session, but amending the bill this late in the game could postpone a vote for another year. The anti-bullying bill is expected to be taken up before session ends on Friday.

Posted in Children, Education, Legislature, State News | 1 Comment »

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