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.
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.