[VIDEO] Senator Gretchen Whitmer Responds to Pro-Bullying Legislation in Michigan
A bill has been passed in Michigan by the Senate’s Republicans that essentially legalizes bullying. The bill was passed in a vote of 26-11, receiving no democratic votes. Ultimately it gives teachers, fellow students, school employees, volunteers and parents, the right to decided that bullying was okay if there was a religious or moral reason.
This seems ridiculous because essentially being gay is “immoral” and “non-religious” in many persons opinions, and will therefore allow any gay kid to continue being bullied because of their immoral acts.
Sadly, the bill is names for a Michigan teen who was bullied so badly he felt inclined to commit suicide. The students name was Matt Epling, and Gretchen does a great job at pointing out that this teen wouldn’t have even been saved by the bill that is named after him.
The Michigan Messenger reports:
In a floor speech Minority Leader in the Senate Gretchen Whitmer (D-East Lansing) slammed the Republicans over the amended language.
“Here today you claim to be protecting kids and you’re actually putting them in more danger,” Whitmer said. “But bullying is not OK. We should be protecting public policy that protects kids — all kids, from bullies — all bullies. But instead you have set us back further by creating a blueprint for bullying.”
“Shockingly, Senate Bill 137 will do more harm than good. Senate Republicans left our students behind in favor of partisan politics and passed a bill that actually allows more bullying. Students and parents expect lawmakers to lead the charge against bullying, but instead Republicans made ideology more important than school safety,” said Emily Dievendorf, policy director of Equality Michigan. “Research clearly shows that only states with enumerated bills see a reduction in bullying. We need a bill that mentions the most affected populations and requires statewide reporting of bullying and harassment. SB 137 simply does nothing to reduce bullying in our schools.”
“To the families of the ten reported suicides that were directly linked to bullying and the countless others that have gone unreported, this bill adds insult to injury,” said Senator Glenn Anderson (D-Westland). “I have been working for years to pass legislation to provide a safe school environment for all of our students. This bill goes in the exact opposite direction and in fact provides a license to bully.”
The legislation passed 26 – 11. It now moves to the Republican-controlled House.
“I am ashamed that this could be Michigan’s bill on anti-bullying, when in fact it is a ‘bullying is OK in MI’ law,” said Kevin Epling, an East Lansing parent whose son committed suicide as a result of bullying. His comment was posted on his Facebook page.
In an interview he had more to say.
“For years the line has been ‘no protected classes,’ and the first thing they throw in — very secretly — was a very protected class, and limited them from repercussions of their own actions. This line has no purpose within this piece of legislation except to incite ‘religious bigotry’ within our schools. Schools are trying to build more tolerant students and future leaders, not automatons blindly following misguided adult leaders who seek a return to a 1950′s America,” Epling said. “This will only cause unrest in schools and give schools one more thing to deal with rather than trying to solve a problem. Also it is not a very well thought out ploy, as in some areas of the state the tables might be turned on the ‘anointed ones’ they seek to keep from being punished. This is just very wrong and the way it was done was wrong as well. It was bullying at its best.”
This is pathetic and a sad day in which we have not moved forward with anti-hate, but rather taken a huge step backwards. We are suppose to be teaching our children that everyone is to be loved and respected, not the other way around. This bill gives righteous young people the freedom to bully a classmate if they see their differences (gay, atheism, etc.) as a reason to insult and degrade another. Yet, if one righteous young person insults another rightwous young person, this bill will make that a crime. Wouldn’t you think that righteous individuals wouldn’t be inclined to bully anyway? Aren’t they expected to respect, love and not judge their peers for that is what God would want?
- As Michigan GOP Passes Bill Allowing Kids to Bully, Democratic Senator Gretchen Whitmer Rips Into Them: VIDEO (towleroad.com)
- Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan Senator, Slams New Bullying Legislation (VIDEO) (huffingtonpost.com)
- In MI, It’s Okay To Bully LGBT Kids As Long As God Approves (queerty.com)
- Boo! Michigan Passes Bill Which ALLOWS Bullying!!! (perezhilton.com)
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