Gay kids in Colorado are among the most protected in the nation. Last year, legislators expanded the state’s bullying-prevention law to prohibit the bullying of students based on several specific characteristics, including sexual orientation. The revisions make Colorado one of fourteen states to explicitly protect gay students; the revised law also updates the definition of bullying to include cyber-bullying and creates a donation-funded grant program for anti-bullying programs in school districts.

“We know healthy kids learn better, and we also know it’s unhealthy for students to feel unsafe,” says Heather Fox, vice president of communications for the Colorado Legacy Foundation. She quotes these oft-cited statistics from a 2009 GLSEN survey: 87 percent of Colorado’s LGBT students reported being verbally harassed at school, almost a third reported being physically assaulted, and 69 percent were sexually harassed.

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