Sunday, November 13, 2011

Watch the Michigan anti-bullying law situation

If you're not familiar with what's going on in Michigan, you're missing an amazing and frightening American political battle.

It started reasonably enough. Michigan is one of the few states that doesn't have an anti-bullying law, so it decided to address that shortcoming. The situation turned weird, however, when Republicans in its Senate transformed the law from one that condemned bullying into one that condoned it--as long as you learned how to explain your bullying actions. How did the Michigan GOP State Senators accomplish this feat? By adding a few key words to the law and saying that it did not apply to

“a statement of a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction of a school employee, school volunteer, pupil, or a pupil’s parent or guardian.”
Think about this change in practice. I can call you any name I want, do anything to you I want, as long as I'm willing to say that my religion or morals endorse that belief. Beat you up because you're gay? No problem: my religion says it's wrong. Harass you because you're Jewish? Sure, because my religion says yours is not the one true way. It's a beautifully versatile exemption, because anyone can use it to justify anything.

What utter horseshit.

Bullying is wrong. Period.

The good news is that the Michigan House removed the language in its version of the bill. Though that's not as far as I'd like to see them go, at least it does delete the language condoning bullying. Now, the Michigan House and Senate have to thrash out this disagreement. They will do so with the eyes of the nation upon them.

We can only hope that the Michigan House triumphs in this particular battle.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

This must be the week of assholes.


Blog Archive