GOP-Controlled Michigan Senate Passes “Anti-Bullying” Legislation That Is Really The Opposite
The Michigan State Senate passed a bill today which, prima facie, appears to protect students at risk of being bullied. However, the wording of the bill does exactly the opposite and instead gives would-be bullies a carefully worded “get out of jail free” card.
Buried in the legislation is a clause which states that bullying is not an infringement of the victim’s constitutional rights and “does not prohibit a statement of a sincerely held belief or moral conviction” of a student or school employee (emphasis mine). What would this disastrous piece of legislation permit? Basically, one child or group of children could do or say anything they want to another child, with impunity. The opinions of a Westboro Church affiliate could be imposed on a minor child in a confined environment with no recourse regardless of the amount of stress or harassment that child had to endure. Immigrants, gays, boys, girls, whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, tall, short, younger, older, religious, atheist – ANYONE – can be mercilessly harassed. There is virtually no end to the ways a hostile environment could be created, maintained and defended as long as it can be shown that the beliefs of the abuser are “sincerely held”…not sane; just “sincerely held.” This, at a time when child advocates note that the activities of hate and extremist groups are at an all-time high.
The 26-11 vote was split along party lines -Democrats voting against the measure -with Senator Gretchen Whitmer (D-23) making an impassioned statement:
Too many children – too many people – are dying from sheer meanness. The infliction of egregious harm is so commonplace now we barely pause for it. Bullies scar for life, or for death. It is a national shame that we need suicide prevention measures like The Trevor Project and the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, but we do. I’m afraid we’re going to need them more than ever. And for the record, suicide is NEVER cowardly; treating someone so badly they believe death is the only way to escape the pain, IS.
“And these children that you spit on, as they try to change their worlds, are immune to your consultations. They’re quite aware of what they’re going through…” ~ David Bowie “Changes”Click here for reuse options!
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