LANSING – “Today, I voted to support legislation that requires school districts to have anti-bullying policies in place to protect all children. This bill is certainly not perfect, but is a welcome departure from the Senate legislation, which permits bullying behavior based on any ‘sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction’. The Senate language is simply an insult to people of faith, implying that religion has some relationship with hateful speech or bulling behavior. I believe the Legislature should go further to protect children, safeguarding kids from cyber-bullying, and ensuring that often-targeted groups receive adequate protections under districts’ policies. I was also disappointed that the House version does not require districts to report violations, as this would allow the state to understand districts’ needs to better protect all Michigan kids. Although the House legislation has its problems, I believe this bill is a step in the right direction, bringing Michigan law closer to protecting our state’s children from discrimination and bullying.”