Protecting the wrong-doer?

Michigan’s recently passed anti-bullying bill does not look out for the victims

The Michigan legislature recently passed an anti-bullying bill that will protect school bullies instead of the victims – what?

Yes, that’s right. A column written by Amy Sullivan titled, “Why does Michigan’s Anti-Bullying Bill protect religious tormenters?” was published on on Nov. 4. Sullivan stated in article that the state senate, which is dominantly Republican, passed a bill on which they agreed to only consider an anti-bullying measure that did not require school districts to report any bullying incidents. This measure also does not include provisions for enforcement or teacher training.

Sullivan’s column mentioned how Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan referred to anti-bullying measures as “a Trojan horse for the homosexual agenda.” Meanwhile, Democrats in the state legislature have been fighting for more than a decade to enact a form of anti-bullying legislation. Glenn’s statement has to be one of the most asinine statements I’ve ever heard.

Within those ten years, at least ten Michigan students who were victims of bullying have committed suicide. My heart breaks for them and their families; it is a tragedy that these lives were cut short by the cruelty of bullying.

Many of us have been bullied at some point in our lives, and it sucks. I was bullied in elementary school and middle school. When I was in seventh grade, I faked sick most of the year in order to stay home – just so I wouldn’t be forced to hand over my lunch money or endure verbal harassment in the hallways.

From what I’ve gathered, this is just another way for bullies to keep making excuses to degrade others, hurt others and break others down. I am appalled and saddened that the Michigan legislature would allow this bill to pass as long as it gave bullies a “sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction” to justify their harassment. This just makes me sick and it’s pure, utter bull crap.

The bill, “Matt’s Safe School Law,” was given this title after Matt Epling; a Michigan student who committed suicide in 2002 after enduring prolonged bullying. Epling is one of the ten students who permanently suffered from being bullied in Michigan, and surely there are many others. You’ve seen the news.

This bill should protect everyone, regardless of race, age, sex, orientation and religion. It is wrong and for the lack of a better word – evil, to bully someone period. This is what I have to say to the individuals who approved this restriction: You are one cold-hearted human being and do not act very “Christian-like.”

In a letter from Sen. Glen Anderson, 18th District-Westland, which is published on, bullying has been linked to a higher level of dropout rates, crime, suicide and school shootings. Additionally, statistics show 30 percent of students in grades six through 10 are affected by moderate or frequent bullying with 19 percent of students participating in bullying.

Wow. I’m disgusted with our state legislation that they allowed this bill to protect those who cause the pain.

I know many have said that even if we do all we can to prevent bullying – it will still happen. Yes, this may be the case, but we can prevent it from causing another tragedy if we stand up for those who are suffering.

I hope to see this bill go through some changes so everyone is protected.

It is also up to us to stop it if we see it or hear it. Treat others as you would want to be treated as well.