Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Michigan Legislature Passes Anti-Bullying Law, Dropping Religious Exemption

Michigan's state Senate yesterday passed the House version of "Matt's Safe School Law," an anti-bullying bill. (Full text of HB 4163). As reported by the Huffington Post, in doing so the Senate gave up on a much more controversial version it had passed earlier which exempted from coverage statements of sincerely held beliefs or moral convictions. That version was strongly criticized by those claiming it would create a religious exemption for bullying of gay and lesbian students. (See prior posting.) HB 4163 contains no similar exception, and requires public schools to adopt anti-bullying policies that prohibit bullying "without regard to its subject matter or motivating animus."