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Fri May 14, 2010
Granholm calls for anti-bullying law
By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI –
Governor Granholm is using her weekly radio address to urge the Legislature to send her an anti-bullying law. The state House approved a measure this week that would require schools to adopt policies to deal with bullying, harassment, and intimidation at schools and on the Internet. The governor says the state Senate should also adopt it.
"The Michigan Association of School Social Workers reports that students who have been bullying have had their education disrupted and sometimes completely derailed by bullying," she says. "The fear created by bullies can increase school absenteeism, decrease academic performance, and heighten the risk of suicide."
Some Senate Republicans say they're opposed to the legislation because it would create a special class of protections for students who are harassed based on an "actual or perceived characteristic." Some conservatives say that's code language for gay students, and that if a bullying law is needed, it should apply the same to everyone.
A similar bill died last year in the Senate.