Thursday, November 10, 2011

UPDATE: Michigan, Where Christians Are Free To Bully

Senator Gretchen Whitmer
Michigan state Democratic Senator Gretchen Whitmer has announced that the language in Michigan's new It's Okay To Bully If You Believe In Jesus Bill, AKA SB 137, will be changed before the bill becomes law, and she is hopeful that after meeting with Republican lawmakers that it will happen soon.
"It looks like they are poised to do that. I'm glad to say that there are people on both sides of the aisle that believe that we should not legitimize excuses for tormenting a student in school."
It was just last week that Senate legislators nearly came to blows over SB 137, AKA Matt's Safe Schools Law, after Democrats accused Republicans of creating a "license to bully" when the GOP-controlled legislature allowed this language to be added to the bill:
Amendment of the constitution of the United States or under article I of the state constitution of 1963 of a school employee, school volunteer, pupil, or a pupil's parent or guardian. This section 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.
This idea that, if you're Christian, or believe you have a moral right, you will not be punished for bullying another student. In fact, it makes it perfect;y okay to bully, if you 'have a friend in Jesus.' And that new language enraged Gretchen Whitmer:
"Frankly, no one I talked to has any idea what the Senate Republicans were thinking when they decided to put this language in. We need to protect our kids. In the name and memory of Matt Epling, we need to do the right thing."
As it enraged Kevin Epling, the father of the bill's namesake, who hopes that, in addition to removing the debated language, the bill should include provisions on cyberbullying:
"I think there needs to be stronger language on cyberbullying and there needs to be stronger language on reporting, all the way to the state level. Students are attacking each other 24/7."
Hoping to add more fuel to their cause Democrats also released a video with Michigan students speaking out against the language in SB 137:

The hope is, that even Michigan GOP can see that there is no excuse for bullying, no matter the reason. It is never okay to tease, taunt, push, shove, name-call, hit, or punch anyone because of who they are. 
Maybe now the Michigan GOP gets it.



froggy said...

It still amazes me that we have to write laws to do something that educators and administrators should have never allowed to happen in the first place.

Tiger Chanter said...

I agree with Froggy! What a bunch of cowards leading those schools!

Cubby said...

Finally some potentially good news out of Michigan.

Anonymous said...

Whitmer is not only a Democrat but a Christian. I'm glad to see she led with her conscience and not her Bible.

FDeF said...

Hatred toward GLBT persons based in religious belief is related to the degree to which sexual orientation/gender identity is seen as a choice, despite evidence to the contrary. It will, unfortunately, continue until there is irrefutable proof that sexual orientation/gender identity is innate. Even then, I'm afraid, there will be people who believe the earth is flat, and gays are intrinsically disordered because their religion tells them so.