Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tedisco's use of the Dignity for All Students Act for political gamesmanship is unacceptable

Earlier this afternoon, Liz Benjamin posted a video clip of Republican Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco suggesting that the anti-bullying bill currently before the state legislature (passed in Assembly, not in Senate) should be amended to include Gov. Spitzer. Tedisco called Spitzer "the biggest bully in the State of New York" for his actions relating to the immigrant driver's licence proposal, which state Republicans largely oppose.

Using the extremely serious issue of bullying in schools--which affects the lives of thousands of New York youths--to fire a political shot at the governor is highly irresponsible for an elected official. We at the Pride Agenda have just put out the following statement:

Pride Agenda criticizes Tedisco for politicizing
anti-bullying legislation

Statement by Empire State Pride Agenda Executive Director Alan Van Capelle
“On the day when the Pride Agenda is honoring Randi Weingarten for her work with the UFT and NYSUT to make schools safer for our youth, James Tedisco is using the serious problem of bullying in schools for blatantly partisan purposes.

His comments are inappropriate and unacceptable behavior for an elected official. He should be part of the solution in Albany and not part of the problem.

Bullying and harassment on our schools is a huge problem. Twenty-eight percent of LGBT students drop out of school, more than three times the national average for heterosexual students. Thirty-one percent of LGBT youth are threatened or injured during a typical school year.*

The Pride Agenda, NYSUT and more than 120 organizations that are part of the Dignity for All Students Coalition have been working hard to pass the Dignity for All Students Act for eight years now.

James Tedisco needs to show real concern for our youth and not be using this legislation to score cheap political points.”

*National Mental Health Association


John M said...

It wasn't the worst way he could put his foot in his mouth. My state senator's chief of staff said at E&J Day '06 "listen, I think you people should have all the rights you want, but it just doesn't work that way and I don't make the decisions."

Anyway this is just another example of how many State Senators are not taking dignity seriously.

Unknown said...

Tedisco should be ashamed of himself. His blatant selfish disregard for students, educators and families at large was grossly displayed in his use of bullying for political gain. I hope his constituents hear this and hear it twice - we cannot afford for these types of elected officials to be making policy and deciding the future of our children.