“I’m very excited that this bill has become a law to protect not just LGBTQ kids, but all kids. It is important that all kids are made to feel safe in Idaho and across the nation. I’m also very enthusiastic about having been invited to be present as the Governor signs this bill into existence.” –DW Trantham
Boise, ID – At 4pm today, Idaho Governor Butch Otter signed into law brand new anti-bullying legislation that is fully inclusive of the LGBT community.
The bill requires that the Idaho State Department of Education provide schools and districts with requirements for disseminating information and professional development around bullying. Rather than focusing on punitive measures, this bill focuses on early intervention to provide for assessment, needs and counseling of bullies and their victims.
“It was important for the Board of Education in Idaho to get behind this issue, as it can not be done locally. Now, not only are those who are victims of bullying going to be helped, but also the bullies themselves will be dealt with in a manner that seeks to reach the source of the bullying thereby eradicating this issue once and for all.” – Carmen Stanger
The original sponsor of HB246, Idaho House Representative and Idaho House Committee Member, Ilana Rubel, first heard the story of a young man named Ryan Zicha while his mother was testifying in favor of additional legislation related to modifying the current Idaho Human Rights Act. Upon hearing Julie Zicha’s testimony about the beatings and discrimination her son had to endure in the Idaho public school system on a regular basis, Ilana Rubel felt personal and professional responsibility to act on behalf of the safety of Idaho students. She sponsored HB246 and introduced it to the Idaho House of Representatives on 3/10 of 2015.
“People should know how far and wide this issue reaches, by unifying the voices of those left behind to one collective that cannot be ignored we hope to do just that.” – Julie Zicha
The Senate passed HB246 on Tuesday March 31st and it was delivered to Governor Otter for his signature shortly thereafter.
“To be present thought this process has been an amazing journey, not only for me as a parent, but for my daughter as well. This is a victory for kids from all walks of life and backgrounds.” – Tim Trantham
Many different people and organizations have worked on this effort behind the scenes. One Million Kids For Equality has been in close contact and coordinating with our members on the ground who have been instrumental in the passage of this legislation.
One Million Kids For Equality works to engage, educate, and empower lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth and the children of LGBT parents with a voice around equality. For information, visit our website at onemillionkids.org