A California mayor is under fire after comments he made regarding the creation of an anti-bullying 'Safe Zone,' which he dismissed by advising victims of bullying to "grow a pair," according to video from ABC30.
"I'm against bullying, but I'm getting damn tired of it being used as a mantra for everything, and the ills of the world," Porterville Mayor Cameron Hamilton said during a city council meeting. "All most people just have to grow a pair, and stick up for them damn selves."
"It's hard to just grow a pair when you're a 10 year old girl," replied Councilwoman Virginia Gurrola who submitted the proposal for the city to support Safe Zones.
"Then maybe the other 10 year olds that think they want to stop bullying will stand up for her, instead of a safe zone and a placard and a bunch of training that goes on," Hamilton responded.
The Porterville 'Safe Zones' are part of an effort by local teens to create off-campus locations for kids to go get help dealing with bullies after school.
Supporters of the proposal fear the mayor and some council members are not entirely supportive of the zones because some of them are designed primarily with gay students in mind.
Barry Caplan, an outspoken supporter of gay rights in Porterville criticized the mayor, saying, "it's just entirely inappropriate and another black eye for the city for the mayor to say something like that."
Melissa McMurrey of Gay Porterville explained that the zones are not exclusively for bullied gay students.
"It's an opportunity for the community to come together, as a whole, and say that we're not going to take this bullying in our town," she said.
Hamilton, who was the only member to vote against the zones, told reporters that he's not anti-gay, but that he is opposed the plan because of the costs associated with it and that it might expose the city to lawsuits if a safe zone became dangerous.
The issue has been tabled and will be addressed at a later date.
Watch the video courtesy of Iporterville.com below:
[Cameron Hamilton image Porterville City Staff site]