Anti-bullying legislation attacked for allowing bullying

Nov 6, 2011 by

Anti-bullying legislation just approved by the Michigan Senate has been denounced by the father of the teenager for whom it was named because, he said, it actually allows bullying to continue.The legislation, called “Matt’s Safe School Law,” was named after Matt Epling, an honor-roll student who killed himself at the age of 14 in 2002 after being assaulted by anti-gay bullies at his school. The draft law, which passed the state Senate with 26 Republican votes against 11 Democratic votes and now advances to the lower house, includes language inserted before the vote that says the bill “does not prohibit a statement of a sincerely held belief or moral conviction” of a student or school worker. Activists say that the provision gives bullies license to prey on other students — especially those who are gay, lesbian or transgender — and, at least as important, gives bystanders who should be trying to stop bullying an excuse not to intervene. The boy’s father, Kevin Epling, posted a video to YouTube in which he says he is “ashamed” of the legislation and that it will create more strife in schools.The law, he said, “would basically say it is okay to bully or to ignore instances of

via Anti-bullying legislation attacked for allowing bullying – The Answer Sheet – The Washington Post.

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