Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill on Thursday (24 April) that strengthens the state's existing anti-bullying law.
The law has stronger protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and students with disabilities. It also recognizes that certain groups are targeted for bullying and provides new reporting measures and data collection mechanisms for schools to use to identify trends.
During a signing ceremony at the statehouse, Patrick called it 'an important step toward ensuring that all young people are able to learn and thrive.'
The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, known widely as GLSEN, praised the signing saying it is 'sending an impactful message to its LGBT youth.'
'LGBT students in Massachusetts can feel confident their educators are committed to providing them with the safe and inclusive school environments they deserve,' stated GLSEN's Executive Director Dr. Eliza Byard.
She added: 'GLSEN looks forward to the day when every student in every school in the country can feel just as supported.'
The bull was approved by the Massachusetts House and Senate in February and March, respectively.