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Gov. signs anti-bullying law

NEW YORK CITY — A new law requires New York school districts to protect children against bullying because of their sexual orientation or weight.

It says schools should guard against those and other forms of discrimination and harassment, including ethnicity and disability.Sen. Thomas Duane, a Manhattan Democrat, said it’s the first time protections for transgender students are “enshrined in New York state law.”

Gov. David Paterson signed the Dignity for All Students Act on Wednesday.

Among other things, it requires school districts to revise their codes of conduct. They also must adopt guidelines for employee sensitivity programs. At least one staff member in each school will be taught special instructional and counseling methods.

The new measure does not override existing laws or state regulations against discrimination.