LANSING (WWJ/AP) – A new version of legislation that would require schools to adopt anti-bullying policies has been approved by the Michigan House.

The bill doesn’t include a disputed clause contained in a Senate version of the bill that critics say would allow religion-based verbal harassment.

Kevin Eppling, the father of the bullying victim for which the bill was named, told WWJ Newsradio 950 he is relieved.

“When that clause came just out of left field, it really was counter to everything that I have been trying to do on anti-bullying for the last six, seven years,” said Eppling. “And that is really get the people to say bullying is just not acceptable, in any way shape or form. It’s not to be tolerated.”

“In 2005, I thought yeah we’ll have this done in two years. Never in my wildest nightmare would I have thought that here we are in 2011, still trying to get this done,” he said.

Eppling’s son Matt committed suicide in 2002 after being bullied by classmates.

Some lawmakers say the House bill still isn’t detailed or tough enough to be effective.

The House bill advances to the Senate. Both chambers would have to agree on the same version of the same bill before it could be sent to Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature.

Michigan is one of only a few states currently without a state law requiring anti-bullying policies in schools.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting
Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press
contributed to this report.)

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