Mich. Lawmakers Seek Common Ground on Anti-Bullying Bill

Michigan legislators are looking for common ground on anti-bullying legislation.
by | November 28, 2011

After the Michigan House passed a new version of a proposed anti-bullying law earlier this month, discussion has swirled around what the bill's final language should include, as the two legislative chambers aim to send legislation to Gov. Rick Snyder, the Detroit Free Press reports.

The state Senate and House's proposals differ on a few key points, according to the newspaper, but coincide on one: neither designates a specific group of students that should be protected from bullying, as some proponents of anti-bullying legislation have called for. The Senate bill included a provision asserting that the law would not be used to stop expressions of religious or moral beliefs, which caused some controversy, according to the Free Press, but the House bill passed on Nov. 10 removed that language. It would require school districts to adopt a policy within six months.

Gov. Rick Snyder called for an anti-bullying policy in his April message on education, saying Michigan needed to join the other 45 states that have adopted similar legislation. He said such a policy should be drafted to include every student, a position also taken by the State Board of Education in a statement released earlier this month. Its statement was also adamant "no license is created...that condones or accommodates bullying."

State lawmakers are scheduled to return to the state Capitol on Tuesday after a two-week break, according to the Associated Press.

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