Mich. Senate Passes Bullying Legislation

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate passed legislation on Nov. 2 that requires districts to develop anti-bullying policies. However, the father of the boy for whom the bill is named objected to some language inserted into the bill at the last minute.

The bill, which requires school district to have procedures to address bullying complaints, includes language that that says requirements don’t “prohibit a statement of a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction of a school employee, school volunteer, pupil, or a pupil’s parent or guardian,” the Detroit Free Press reports. This means that anyone will be allowed to bully a student and cite their religious beliefs, according Kevin Epling, whose son Matt Epling killed himself in 2002.

Republicans said that all students would be equally protected under the proposal. But Democrats were angered by the new language, saying it goes in the opposite direction of stopping bullying.

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