Former governor Mitt Romney’s administration in 2006 blocked publication of a state antibullying guide for Massachusetts public schools because officials objected to use of the terms “bisexual’’ and “transgender’’ in passages about protecting certain students from harassment, according to state records and interviews with current and former state officials.According to the email, the decision was made in consultation with Romney's office. And even though they didn't publicly acknowledge that they had axed the guide—or even that they had a problem with it—it turns out they didn't have the moral backbone to say that there is never an excuse for bullying.
Romney aides said publicly at the time that publication of the guide had been delayed because it was a lengthy document that required further review. But an e-mail authored in May of that year by a high-ranking Department of Public Health official - and obtained last week by the Globe through a public records request - reflected a different reason.
“Because this is using the terms ‘bisexual’ and ‘transgendered,’ DPH’s name may not be used in this publication,’’ wrote the official, Alda Rego-Weathers, then the deputy commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Obviously, the story here reflects poorly on Romney in and of itself—particularly in light of his own past as a high school bully—but the fact that it came to light because of an email sent by someone outside Romney's office is interesting. As you may recall, Romney and his staff went to extraordinary lengths to delete their own electronic records, erasing much of the history of what went on inside his administration. But as this story once again demonstrates, there are still strands of information available to reporters—and opposition researchers—eager to document Romney's tenure as governor.