Michigan House drops "Religion Clause" from Matt's Safe School Law

The Michigan House of Representatives passed a version of the "Matt's Safe School Law" that drops the controversial "Religion Clause" that was forced in by a member of the Michigan branch of the American Family Association.

 

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone for providing your input on this matter.  The response is overwhelming.  If I could, I'd like to ask you all a very provocative question.  "Matt's Safe School Law" is named after Matt Epling, a 14-year-old student who tragically committed suicide after a bullying assualt in 2002.

The question I want to ask is this: if a student commits suicide because of bullying, should the person(s) who were bullying them be held responsible for the victim's death?

Tags: Matt's Safe School Law, Michigan, Religion Clause

Views: 208

Replies to This Discussion

This makes me happy!  Thankfully, this has never been an issue on the bullying committee at my son's school.  No excuses!

found this comment on the site:

Don't you see this law kills free speech? Whether you 'hate religion' or not is of no interest to the US Constitution, as of today. But, if this law holds up in court we will all be living in a 'dog-eat-dog'- "He's a bully because he said this"/ "NO, She's a bully because she said that" world.

 

sums up what I think. we need to start teaching kids how to deal with bullys as a GROUP and support one another. this would efectively weed out the bullys without restricting anyones freedom of speech.

remember that free speech not only means freedom to hear what you agree with but also, and more importantly, it means the freedom to hear what you DO NOT AGREE WITH.

the most heinous of hate speech as well as the most inane driveling newage shit. its ALL covered by the first amendment and should NEVER be altered.

what the fuck ever happened to teaching people to grow up, get a broad back and thick skin?

where are you socrates?

what the fuck ever happened to teaching people to grow up, get a broad back and thick skin

 

Yes, but we're talking about kids here, who are highly susceptible to peer pressure and in-group/out-group dynammics.

 

This isn't a question of free speech. It's a matter of human decency.

this is a social issue that should never enter the realm of law.

Dude, when we have 40 and 50 year-old administrators and teachers bullying 14 year-old boys to the point that the kid commits suicide, we've officially reached a level of fucked-up that it's time to start passing laws for the assholes who aren't susceptible to social pressures to maintain a minimum level of humanity and basic decency.

I am not saying that bulliing is O.K.

I am NOT saying that these people dont deserve some derision and social pressure to start acting more humane and maybe even serve jail time for harassment. but to censure the words that someone is using is a violation of freedom of speech.

better to teach your kids to understand that words dont hurt, they communicate what we think. learn to get thiker skin and a broader back.

you stand up to the bully..you dont make a law and hide behind it. there are already laws on the books that cover harassment, stalking, etc..I used these a few times and it works..we dont need another law.

I was constantly picked on, beat up, dirided and actually sexually molested a few times. those persons were made to look like the assholes ..(one did jail time,)...that they were because I did not back down from my possition that they were assholes. I did not need a law restricting anyones freedom of speech, I just maintained my possition and they were socialy ostracized. as well as legally prosecuted under existing law.

I still remember the little rhym we learned in school..."sticks and stones may brake our bones but WORDS WILL NEVER HURT US"!

the human decency thing would be to teach your children this rhyme and teach the meaning of courage.

the way to protect yourself from bullying is to build a good shield, and teach your kids to do the same.

 

You've just completely contradicted yourself. You think they should serve jail time, for harassment, but you also think that censuring them violates their First Amendment rights? Which is it? Please clarify that.

Also, you're ignoring the difference between bullying by peers and bullying by authority figures who have been put into a position of trust and then violate that trust, by abusing their wards.

very good question..it sounds like it on the surface but it comes down to personal responsibility for ones actions as well as personal freedoms.

..no contradiction..the existing laws apply to, and should be applied to everyone regardless of age or authority. if someone wants to go "batshit" they are subject to the law. this often...all too often goes unreported and un-prosecuted. 

not the fault of the law. this is harassment and verbal assault. out of ignorance of the law or what ever this is, all too often not called out and/or brought to court under existing law.

the key is educating the kids and the parents about the law and that you dont back down from a bully/authority fig when you know that they are wrong and you are right.

I still remember the little rhym we learned in school..."sticks and stones may brake our bones but WORDS WILL NEVER HURT US"!

the human decency thing would be to teach your children this rhyme and teach the meaning of courage.

I did not need a law restricting anyones freedom of speech, I just maintained my possition and they were socialy ostracized. as well as legally prosecuted under existing law.

Spoken like someone who has never been bullied AND doesn't remember being a kid.

you stand up to the bully..you dont make a law and hide behind it. there are already laws on the books that cover harassment, stalking, etc..I used these a few times and it works..we dont need another law.

I was constantly picked on, beat up, dirided and actually sexually molested a few times. those persons were made to look like the assholes ..(one did jail time,)...that they were because I did not back down from my possition that they were assholes. I did not need a law restricting anyones freedom of speech, I just maintained my possition and they were socialy ostracized. as well as legally prosecuted under existing law

 

That is a step forward! At least the Michigan state legislature won't be passing a bill whose religious exception "would've provided schoolyard bullies a level of protection that they did not have even in the absence of an anti-bullying law."

The Senate version, which the House rejected, "would also punish kids who made bullying claims that turned out to be unsubstantiated. If kids objected to comments protected under section 8 wording, they could be liable to punishment for bullying."

Unfortunately, the House version has a different problem.

Democrats express some disappointment with HB 4163. Wording that listed protected classes was not added. Language would have stipulated students could not be bullied for disability, handicap, physical attribute, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, cultural expression or ethnic background.

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