Gov. Romney’s Office Stopped Anti-Bullying Guide Over Use of “Bisexual” and “Transgender”

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June 12 2012 5:18 PM

Gov. Romney’s Office Stopped Anti-Bullying Guide Over Use of “Bisexual” and “Transgender”

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According to a report in the Boston Globe, Governor Mitt Romney's office effectively stopped publication of an antibullying guide for public school teachers and administrators because it suggested LGBT teens might be targeted.

Photo by Whitney Curtis/Getty Images

It’s easy to support preventing vicious bullying in school—unless perhaps you’re a Massachusetts governor about to court conservatives in your race for president and the kids at risk for bullying are bisexual or transgender.

According to the Boston Globe, Gov. Mitt Romney’s administration effectively blocked the publication of a statewide anti-bullying guide for schoolteachers and administrators in 2006 because it included language about protecting LGBT students from harassment.

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Studies have suggested gay American teens are four times as likely to attempt suicide. But several large conservative evangelical organizations oppose efforts to stop bullying and suicide among LGBT groups because they say the programs encourage homosexual activity.

Emails obtained by the Globe show Department of Public Health official Alda Rego-Weathers said the anti-bullying guide couldn’t bear the name of DHP—it’s main sponsor—because Romney’s office disapproved of the terminology “bisexual” and “transgendered.” The result? The guide wasn’t printed until 2008, under Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick. 

Video by Paca Thomas.

Ben Johnson is the producer of Marketplace Tech from American Public Media.

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