On Wednesday, the Michigan state senate passed an anti-bullying bill protecting school bullies instead of the Victims. The bill allows students, teachers, and other school employees to justify their harassment if it is because of “a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction”. Michigan is one of only three states in the country that have not enacted any form of anti-bullying legislation. Democrats have been fighting for protective legislation for the last 10 years to no avail. While they have been stonewalled, at least ten Michigan students who were victims of bullying have killed themselves. The bill called “Matt’s Safe School Law,” was named after one of these victim Matt Epling, a Michigan student who committed suicide in 2002 after enduring prolonged bullying. By inserting special protections for religiously motivated bullying the Republicans forced all 11 Democratic senators to vote against the legislation they had long championed. I am calling on the Michigan house of representatives to set this travesty right. Reinstate the true purpose of this law and PROTECT the victims not the bullies. Remove the religious exemption from Matt’s Safe School Law & add reporting requirements instead.
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