Passed 26 to 11 in the Senate on November 2, 2011, to require schools to adopt a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying “motivated by animus or by an actual or perceived characteristic,” but not one enumerating specific characteristics, including gender, race and sexual orientation. The bill would not prohibit "a statement of a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction".
View All of Senate Bill 137: History, Amendments & Comments
The vote was 26 in favor, 11 against, and 1 not voting.
(Senate Roll Call 617)
Require school bullying policies
|Booher (R)||Brandenburg (R)||Casperson (R)||Caswell (R)||Colbeck (R)|
|Emmons (R)||Green (R)||Hansen (R)||Hildenbrand (R)||Hune (R)|
|Jansen (R)||Jones (R)||Kahn (R)||Kowall (R)||Marleau (R)|
|Meekhof (R)||Moolenaar (R)||Nofs (R)||Pappageorge (R)||Pavlov (R)|
|Proos (R)||Richardville (R)||Robertson (R)||Rocca (R)||Schuitmaker (R)|
|Anderson (D)||Bieda (D)||Gleason (D)||Gregory (D)||Hood (D)|
|Hopgood (D)||Hunter (D)||Johnson (D)||Smith (D)||Warren (D)|
SENATE LEGISLATORS WHO DID NOT VOTE
SENATE LEGISLATORS ALL VOTES
|n Anderson (D)||n Bieda (D)||Y Booher (R)||Y Brandenburg (R)||Y Casperson (R)|
|Y Caswell (R)||Y Colbeck (R)||Y Emmons (R)||n Gleason (D)||Y Green (R)|
|n Gregory (D)||Y Hansen (R)||Y Hildenbrand (R)||n Hood (D)||n Hopgood (D)|
|Y Hune (R)||n Hunter (D)||Y Jansen (R)||n Johnson (D)||Y Jones (R)|
|Y Kahn (R)||Y Kowall (R)||Y Marleau (R)||Y Meekhof (R)||Y Moolenaar (R)|
|Y Nofs (R)||Y Pappageorge (R)||Y Pavlov (R)||Y Proos (R)||Y Richardville (R)|
|Y Robertson (R)||Y Rocca (R)||Y Schuitmaker (R)||n Smith (D)||Y Walker (R)|
|n Warren (D)||n Whitmer (D)||- Young (D)|
Senate Roll Call 617 on 2011 Senate Bill 137
Definitely a slippery slope when we are drafting laws limiting free speech.
It is sad when children are bullied relentlessly and technology enables it to be much more constant and pervasive.
Still, I do not think we will ever be able to legislate away the fact that children are often cruel to one another because they have not
lived long enough to have empathy, kindness, and perspective.
While perhaps the Republicans do not want a child to be punished for saying, "I believe that God says homosexuality is wrong" outloud, or "You should change" to someone who is gay, as part of a moral conviction, because he/she has been taught that way and sincerely believes it and is not being hostile, there's a slippery slope to "You're a sinner! You're gay!" or "Men are the heads of households, not women!" or "You should grow up to be a mother, not a doctor, huh!" or any number of inappropriate things a child might say due to religious beliefs, that could go into harassment. If children were to simply go around stating their sincere moral beliefs obnoxiously, inappropriately, that could be harassment.
Bullying and teasing can be one and the same. The tone, aggressiveness, and amount is usually the telling property. Teasing more often than not is bullying. Also, whether it is happening under the teacher's nose or away from an adult's eyes is a factor. When I was a junior high school student I witnessed, in the cafeteria, a girlfriend being constantly teased by boys in a sexual manner--they may have thought it was teasing, but it was constant, day in and day out, and to her, it was sexual harrassment, or bullying. She was often in tears, though she didn't show that to the boys who teased her. What might be intended as fun to the teasers might not be fun to the "teased." Bullying is meant to be mean. Intent is one factor, but not the only factor.