Legislators remove license to bully language from bill


LANSING -

Reacting to voter outrage and intense negative publicity, the Michigan legislature is backing away from a bill passed by the Senate Nov. 2 which allows bullying if it represents "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 Michigan House passed a version of the bill Nov. 10 that does not include the "moral exception." In the Senate, Rick Jones (R-Dist. 24), offered an amendment that would carve-out the "moral exception" language. He later stated he would withdraw his amendment and simply support the House version.

"We are grateful that this legislation moves forward without the license to bully based on an outrageous religious exception, but that said, it won't be effective," Michael Gregor, communications director for Equality Michigan, told the Washington Post.

LGBT activists had wanted the legislature to pass an enumerated anti-bullying bill that listed the groups most subject to harassment at school, including LGBT students. Republicans in both houses rejected that version of the bill, and instead went with bills that contain general language and no recourse for victims or penalties for bullies.

Michigan is one of only three states that do not have an anti-bullying law.

  • Latest News

Enter To Win

Enter contests to win great prizes like CDs, DVDs, concert tickets and more

Special Section: Pets
Nearing Agricultural Nirvana With Dolly The Llama

CHELSEA - Following a path that has taken her from working in civil rights in the big metropolis of New York City to owning dozens of sheep, chickens, pigs and other rowdy farm animals, Angie Martell seeks a full life of balance and tranquility.

View More Pets
This Week's Issue

Download or view this week's print issue today!