11 cases of bullying based on sexual orientation reported in Brevard

School district passed new policy last year


VIERA, Fla. – A month before the 2016-17 school year, school board members in Brevard County approved a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender anti-discrimination policy.

The proposal was controversial, with opponents speaking out at the meeting saying the rules on the books were good enough to stop discrimination and bullying, and district staff should be enforcing them more strongly.

News 6 is following up with the district now that the policy -- which bans discrimination against students and staff because of their sexual orientation and gender identity -- has been in effect for a year.

Brevard Public Schools last year had 11 documented cases -- seven in 2016 and four in 2017 -- of bullying based on sexual orientation, according to spokeswoman Jennifer Wolfinger.

"Parent complaint data is collected at the school level," Wolfinger said in an email. "Any bullying-related issues are documented in a bullying packet."

Wolfinger said the consequences for bullying are not specific to LGBT.

If a student bullies another student because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, they could face a number of consequences, including in-school suspension or out-of-school suspension (1-5 days), according to the district's discipline plan.

Brevard Public Schools became the 15th district in the state to adopt an LGBT anti-discrimination policy.

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