LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Michigan likely will soon have a law requiring schools to adopt anti-bullying policies. The Senate on Tuesday approved a bill requiring schools to adopt anti-bullying and harassment policies by a 35-2 vote.
The bill already has passed the House and will soon be sent to Gov. Rick Snyder. The Republican governor has said he wants the Legislature to approve an anti-bullying law.
WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick said this legislation puts much of the responsibility on the school districts.
“Basically, what this legislation says is that now every school board within six months has to come up with its personal anti-bullying policy through public hearings and bringing parents and kids in and then making the decision,” said Skubick.
The bill does not include a clause that critics say would have allowed religious-based verbal harassment.
Senator Glenn Anderson of Westland was the bills sponsor, but he voted no, saying the legislation didn’t go far enough.
“What Mr. Anderson wanted was a reporting of all the bullying incidences in the state to the State of Michigan,” explained Skubick. “The Republicans did not support that. So, the battle of the bullying is over by the debate over whether [the legislation] is worthless or not will go forward.”
Michigan is one of only a few states without a state law requiring anti-bullying policies in schools. Efforts to pass a law have fizzled for years as Michigan lawmakers have disagreed over proposed contents.
The City of Detroit passed its own anti-bullying ordinence earlier this month.
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