St. Petersburg extends bullying protections to LGBTQ youth

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Mayor Rick Kriseman has extended the city’s anti-bullying policy in its youth programming to protect LGBTQ youth ahead of St Pete Pride 2019.

The City of St. Petersburg is committed to providing an environment for all youth that is safe, secure and free from harassment and bullying of any kind, officials shared June 21. The policy applies to any youth enrolled or participating in programs run or sponsored by the city.

The mayor announced he would sign the expanded administrative policy to a roaring crowd at St Pete Pride’s annual Stonewall Reception June 20. “St. Petersburg is a community that is welcoming,” he shared. “We celebrate diversity, so I’m going to break some news here tonight … I’m going to sign an executive order that changes St. Petersburg’s policy on bullying in youth programs and activities.”

The amended, LGBTQ-inclusive language reads as follows:

Bullying may be based on a youth’s actual or perceived race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, intellectual ability, familial status, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, genetic information, disability, source of income, or any other distinguishing characteristic, or on a youth’s association with a person or group with any of the actual or perceived foregoing characteristics.

The city notes in its policy that any act of bullying, harassment, cyberstalking or cyberbullying, whether by youth, volunteers or staff is prohibited. It further prohibits retaliation against those who report infractions.

The protections also note that any youth found to have committed bullying will “be subject to consequences and appropriate remedial action” ranging from interventions to program expulsion. Employees and volunteers will be subject to disciplinary action.

Mayor Kriseman also summarized the news via social media:

On the eve of our St. Pete Pride weekend I am proud to announce that I am signing an administrative policy related to…

Posted by Rick Kriseman on Thursday, June 20, 2019

Photo by Dylan Todd: Rick Kriseman at the 2019 St Pete Pride Stonewall Reception.

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