Porterville Mayor Criticized for Telling Bullying Victims to “Grow A Pair”
California City News: Porterville Mayor Cameron Hamilton sparked outrage at a recent council meeting when he said some bullying victims need to stiffen up and “grow a pair.” The comment came in response to a student-led anti-bullying proposal which would create “safe zones” for children looking to escape harassment by fellow students.
“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,” Hamilton said. “All most people have to do is grow a pair, and stick up for them damn selves.”
Council Member Virginia Gurrola immediately took issue with the statement, telling the mayor that it’s hard do that “when you are maybe a 10-year-old little girl.”
Gay rights activists have also complained about the comments, with some suggesting they were a subtle slap at gay bullying victims in particular.
The Porterville City Council’s decision last summer to rescind a proclamation designating June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month enraged many in the gay and lesbian community, leading to protests. The proclamation was initiated by Gurrola, who was the city’s mayor at the time. Both she and the vice mayor were removed from their positions shortly thereafter, prompting further speculation and outrage.
Read more about the recent fallout over Mayor Hamilton’s comments here.