The legislation in question, called “Matt’s Safe School Law,” was named after Matt Epling, an honor-roll student who killed himself at the age of 14 in 2002 after being assaulted by bullies at his school.
The draft law, which passed the state Senate with 26 Republican votes against 11 Democratic votes and now advances to the lower house, includes language inserted before the vote that says the bill “does not prohibit a statement of a sincerely held belief or moral conviction” of a student or school worker.
This law would allow bullies in Michigan to harass kids if they have a religious or moral reason for doing so. This is sick. This is protecting bullies, especially ones who harass LGBT youth on the basis of religion. It is NEVER okay to treat someone with disrespect or harass them. This needs to be stopped.
Michigan Senate, we are requesting that the 'religious or moral conviction' part of the law be removed. This part protects bullies and is unconstitutional. Leaving it in a supposedly anti-bullying law defeats the purpose and is disrespectful to the memory of Matt Epling and his family and friends.