The kids in the middle school left reminders for each other that this is a bully-free zone.
The kids aren’t the only ones who take bullying seriously. Mailing lists and watercooler conversations have been abuzz with concern and disappointment with the Senate’s Blueprint for Bullying. State Superintendent Mike Flanagan issued this statement:*
“There should never be an excuse or reason or justification for anyone to bully, intimidate, or harass a student. I cannot imagine any real moral conviction or religious teaching that says it acceptable to inflict pain, humiliation, and suffering on another person, especially a child. The legislation, as passed by the Michigan Senate, is a disappointing development in a process that we have worked on so diligently together for the protection of all schoolchildren in Michigan. After my long relationship with families of children who have committed suicide after being bullied, I find this bill now to be a joke, especially as it is named in memory of one of those children.”
And as Eclectablog pointed out here, Senate Republicans have another trick up their sleeve:
Republican state Representative Tom McMillin has proposed a law that would forbid civil rights protections that are more expansive than Michigan’s civil rights law.
The measure would apply to local governments, school districts and state agencies. Its aim is to block ordinances that offer legal protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Right now at least 18 Michigan communities have such laws on the books.
So even if the Superintendents, teachers, parents, and kids wanted to pass anti-bullying policies that would remove the religious exemption, they would not be allowed to do so.
I don’t see how any Republican who voted for this bill could ever be called “pro-life.”
*I received the statement on a mailing list. I couldn’t find a link to the entire statement; this link refers to the statement.