The California Senate on Thursday
approved an anti-bullying measure named after gay student Seth Walsh.
Walsh is the 13-year-old boy who hanged
himself after he was endlessly harassed by classmates who perceived
him to be gay. He died 9 days after his mother Wendy Walsh found him
hanging from a plum tree in their backyard. A federal investigation
concluded that Tehachapi Unified School District failed to properly
respond to the teen's ongoing harassment.
The legislation was introduced by
openly gay Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, a Democrat from San Francisco,
and cleared the Assembly on June 1 on a 52-26 vote.
Senators approved the legislation with a
24 to 14 vote late Thursday. It now heads to the desk of Governor
Jerry Brown, a proponent of gay rights.
“I'm absolutely ecstatic,” Wendy
Walsh told the ACLU, which backed the bill. “I am truly honored.
Seth would be very honored. I really hope the governor signs it.”
The law would mandate that schools post
anti-bullying policies throughout campuses, provide complaint forms
on their websites and give schools a timeline to investigate and
Anti-gay rights organizations in the
state have already launched a
petition drive to repeal SB 48, a law that mandates schools
include the historical contributions of LGBT people in their lesson
Walsh talks about her son's suicide.)