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Rep. Ouimet: House Passes 'Improved' Anti-Bullying Legislation

State Rep. Ouimet said the new bill protects every children from bullying, no matter what shape it takes.

State Rep. Mark Ouimet today voted in favor of legislation requiring all Michigan public schools to adopt a policy to effectively safeguard students from any form of bullying or harassment.

House Bill 4163 received overwhelming bipartisan support from the Michigan House this afternoon.  The bill requires all public schools, charter schools and intermediate school districts to implement the policy no later than six months after the bill is signed into law.

“Every child in every public school in Michigan deserves protection from all forms of bullying,” said Ouimet, R-Scio Township.  “This is a simply written bill that effectively protects all students from harassment at school.  I implore the Senate to consider this updated bill as soon as possible.”

Ouimet stressed that the House version of the anti-bullying bill is not the one recently approved by the state Senate, which included an exemption for statements made based on sincerely held religious beliefs or moral conviction. 

"Schools should have a zero tolerance for bullying, and special carve-outs are not necessary and potentially damaging," Ouimet said. "The House bill protects all students, no matter what type of bullying is taking place."

In addition to requiring schools to come up with a plan and have it in place within six months, the bill encourages schools to include provisions in its policy concerning education, parental involvement, reporting, investigation and intervention.

HB 4163 now goes to the Senate for consideration.

(This release was submitted by Rep. Mark Ouimet.)

David Rhoads November 11, 2011 at 03:35 PM
Good for you, Representative Mark Ouimet. I am pleased to see that HB 4163 removes the exemption which was in the Senate version. There should be no exemptions for bullying in any shape or form.
Kay Jo November 13, 2011 at 01:56 AM
Does this legislation define bullying? At what point do opinions expressed become "bullying"? Does this legislation protect students or just kill free speech? It looks like a big Pandora's box to me. As Mr. Rhoads' opinion shows, those with sincere religious objections to certain lifestyles are judged to be bullies, but noone can say that, because that would be bullying the ones with religious objections...the whole thing gets too crazy! (If my comment seems confusing, just wait until the legislation is passed--you ain't seen nothing yet!)
Dexter Mom November 12, 2012 at 05:11 PM
It's been one year later....looks like it's time to revisit this legislation and see exactly what changes have been made. I would like to understand better what has happened in our own Community Schools with the adoption of current legislation. From what I hear from parents and students There is still a huge problem and it may only be getting worse, so we may have to do more on our own local level to help victims.

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