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Modern Bigotry in Action

On November 2, 2011, Senate Bill 0137 (2011, Michigan) was passed. It’s also called “Matt’s Safe School Law”

Please, hold your applause.

There is a part stating the legislation “does not prohibit First Amendment rights, and “does not 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.” 




So… if they can prove they bully BECAUSE of moral or religious belief… it’s… okay?

This is 2011… right?

The Detroit News reports that Senate Dems tried to add language that would specifically prohibit bullying on the basis of race, gender, sexual preference, etc., but was not successful.

Also, a revision of the bill has also taken out “cyberbullying,” limiting the jurisdiction to school and telecomunications.

Many people are upset, including myself. The reason we pulled my son out of traditional school and began homeschooling was because of bullying. Why aren’t adults in charge taking this seriously? Why is religious belief STILL untouchable? How many more kids have to live in emotional and/or physical agony or even die because of this bullying behavior?

Why is religion getting a pass?

Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D) gave an emotional speech reprimanding the Republicans for “explicitly outlining how to get away with bullying”


“A blueprint for bullying.”

Matt’s father, Kevin Epling, posted on his Facebook after the state senate vote on Wednesday. “I am ashamed that this could be Michigan’s bill on anti-bullying,” wrote Epling. “For years the line [from Republicans] has been ‘no protected classes,’ and the first thing they throw in…was a very protected class, and limited them from repercussions of their own actions.”

I’m ashamed of Michigan.

I’m embarrassed.

I’m infuriated.

Freedom of Religion does not mean you can torture someone else and blame it on your religion.

Will the Muslim students who call Christian students infidels and torment them regularly be protected under this law?


To give your opinion or show support, send emails to SenGWhitmer@senate.michigan.gov or letters to P.O. Box 30036 Lansing, Mich., 48909-7536.


Comments on: "Modern Bigotry in Action" (4)

  1. Jewish students are bullied daily by Muslim students in St. Louis, Missouri and nothing is being done about it. If Jewish students seek mediation from the governing body of the school, they are told the school can do nothing because it is religious based. Please do not think it was just Christians pushing this agenda.

    • My apologies if it seemed I was only targeting Christians. Christianity is the largest religion in the U.S. I know that many religions hide behind the “curtain” of “untouchable belief handed down by a higher power”. I believe in this particular story, in Michigan, the senate Republicans who rallied and voted for this bill (now law) are Christians.

      I’m tired, like many, of religious hate getting a free pass to do as it pleases. It’s disgusting and inhuman.

  2. Cheryl Overley said:

    If you’re a Michigander please contact your representative. Urge your representative to block any anti-bullying legislation that sanctions bigotry and only pass effective anti-bullying legislation. Studies done over the past ten years across states show the only effective anti-bullying laws…
    * Enumerate protected classes (without this teachers often fail to act),
    * Anti-bullying training for staff,
    * Mandated reporting,
    * Administrator accountability.
    States with laws like these see a decrease in bullying as well as bullying related truancy and drop out rates. States without these have rates similar to states without anti-bullying laws.

    Sign up for action alerts through Equality Michigan. Emily Dievendorf, their policy director, is the key person at the capitol coordinating anti-bully efforts across groups.

    Please share this with any Michiganders you know.

    Thank you for your help.

    Cheryl Overley

  3. […] active steps to stop others from acting on that orientation.Shannon Burgdorf is an atheist and she can’t believe this is happening, either:The reason we pulled my son out of traditional school and began homeschooling was because […]

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