Bullying | Michigan | News

As Michigan GOP Passes Bill Allowing Kids to Bully, Democratic Senator Gretchen Whitmer Rips Into Them: VIDEO


Michigan State Senator Gretchen Whitmer yesterday ripped Senate GOP a new one over passage of a "bullying" bill that was gutted so heavily that it actually creates, as Whitmer notes in her speech, "a blueprint for bullying."

Watch Whitmer's speech, AFTER THE JUMP...

Says Whitmer: "You may be able to pat yourselves on the back today and say that you did something, but in actuality, you're explicitly outlining how to get away with bullying. Your exceptions have swallowed the rule. As passed today, bullying kids is okay if a student, parent, teacher, or school employee can come up with a religious or moral reason for doing it."

The Detroit News reports:

"Matt's Safe School Law" passed 26-11 with all Democrats voting against it. The bill is named for Matt Eppling, an East Lansing 14-year-old who committed suicide after being bullied by classmates in 2002. The law includes a section noting it doesn't abridge First Amendment free speech rights or prohibit expression of religious or moral viewpoints — a provision Democrats fear could be used to justify harassment of gay, lesbian or transgender students. Democrats tried unsuccessfully to attach an amendment to list characteristics — such as race, gender and sexual preference — that are off-limits for bullying. They said policies that include detailed lists have held up better when challenged before the U.S. Supreme Court."

Whitmer takes aim at the disgusting moves by Republicans:

"Here today you claim to be protecting kids, and you're actually putting them in more danger. There are at least 10 Michigan children in the past decade whose deaths are directly attributable to bullying...Had this bill that you're going to pass today been law in effect while they were alive, how many of their deaths would have been prevented? ZERO!"

She adds:

"So this might solve a political problemn that Republicans have. but be clear. You are papering over the problem that is a reality faced by hundreds of kids in Michigan schools every day. In fact not only does this not protect kids who are bullied. It further endangers them by legitimizing excuses for tormenting a student. And the saddest and sickest irony of this whole thing is that it's called 'Matt's Safe School Law'. And after the way that you've gutted it, it wouldn't have done a damn thing to save Matt!"

"This is worse than doing nothing! It's a Republican license to bully."

Watch Whitmer's speech, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Love her!!

    Posted by: sully | Nov 3, 2011 9:47:25 AM

  2. Michigan Republicans are some of the vilest creatures imaginable and have several bills moving through the legislature to screw over our lgbt community.

    The house passed a bill to take partner benefits away from state employees with the sponsor stating: "Taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for benefits for somebody's roommate." They're also trying to pass a bill to overturn any individual city's protections for lgbt citizens.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Nov 3, 2011 9:47:27 AM

  3. How on earth can this even be constitutional... and if it is, does that mean that atheists have bully christian kids? I mean, how stupid can they be?

    Posted by: MikeH | Nov 3, 2011 9:53:28 AM

  4. I am sad to say I am originally from Michigan and sometimes I am sad to say I am American. It almost could be equated with writing "loser" on your forehead.

    Posted by: J. Page | Nov 3, 2011 9:54:40 AM

  5. She just guaranteed herself a tough re-election campaign! Make sure she knows you support her! Take 5 minutes to say thank you:


    Posted by: K | Nov 3, 2011 9:56:56 AM

  6. We need more of the courageous politician that Sen. Whitmer represents. There can be NO so-called "religious" or "moral" exceptions under the guise of protecting "free speech" in any anti-bullying legislation.

    One day, Republicans, all of this is going to backfire on you in a very nasty, pernicious and VIOLENT way. It will. Be prepared. It is simply a matter of time.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Nov 3, 2011 9:59:22 AM

  7. I'm not from Michigan, but I am often ashamed to say I'm an American. You could substitute "loser" for a lot of words - bigot, xenophobe, moron, pathetic. Off the top of my head.

    Posted by: K | Nov 3, 2011 10:01:16 AM

  8. Republicans: Blowing up brown people and beating up gay people forever!

    Posted by: Kevin | Nov 3, 2011 10:04:56 AM

  9. So, if I'm a pagan, I can mock and harass the Christian kids all I want for their stupid beliefs in a magical invisible sky-man? And do so with impunity? I wonder how that would fly.

    Posted by: John Equality | Nov 3, 2011 10:10:06 AM

  10. I fear for my beloved Michigan. Since the Republicans have taken over, I don't recognize it any more. What were the people thinking last November when a majority of these idiots were elected.

    My guess is they weren't thinking at all. Result? You get the government you deserve.

    Posted by: mytwocents | Nov 3, 2011 10:15:55 AM

  11. Tell me again why so many gay people trek from Chicago to Michigan to spend their money in a state that does not support them. There are millions going into their hands for roads, schools, etc., and what are we getting.....nothin! I realize not everyone up there is against the lgtb community, but hit those that are where it hurts the most...their pocketbook. Common decency does not seem to work.

    Posted by: Bo Bibb 4301 | Nov 3, 2011 10:22:29 AM

  12. And once again we see the reality that the hatred from social conservatives against the gay community holds NO BOUNDS. These people hate us. Now it's time to expose these bigots for exactly what they are and use their tactics against them. They care more about being homophobia and promoting homophobia, than they do about the well-being of our youth.

    Posted by: Francis | Nov 3, 2011 10:31:48 AM

  13. Another day, another sociopathic move by the GOP. Again, we need to ask ourselves why people vote for these people. And why so many gay people would rather vote for the GOP then Obama. Sick.

    Posted by: Rowan | Nov 3, 2011 10:34:36 AM

  14. Wouldn't this law then make it legal to bully christians on religious grounds, i.e., if they do not share my non-christians beliefs then they must be going to hell and bullying of them is to help them see the error of their ways because I love them.

    Posted by: Peater | Nov 3, 2011 10:36:22 AM

  15. I have two comments (where's Jason???)


    allow me to explain precisely why women are not the anti-gay activists you think we are:

    1) with women not everything is about sexual pleasure. with us "kids" are the end result of sex. yes, this is true. we do have sex for pleasure but...we want kids.

    2) women respond to kids being hurt, injured, or bullied. when we see stories about kids being hurt the vast majority of us, by and large, think: what if that was my kid? and we act appropriately. the nutjobs who don't are just that...abnormal nutjobs.

    why I advocate and campaign for gay rights in my state is because of my children. who knows what they will be someday and I want their world to be good to them.

    My last comment is this:

    "anti" anything never works. The drug war has proven that. You can legislate against gay, racial, or sexual bullying but it won't stop bullying. We've legislated against homicide, murder, and manslaughter, but people still do that because in the heat of the moment they aren't thinking of punishment.

    Money should be put into prevention. If it is important that kids learn about marsupials or plateaus in school why is it not equally important that they learn about kindness, respect, and human decency?

    Why not reward good behavior? Studies have shown that rewards work better than punishment with school-aged children. If you can go a whole year without a complaint about bullying someone, for example, then you get three free days off from school or you get a gift certificate.

    I'm not kidding about this. There have been pilot programs using rewards as incentive for good grades by schools or showing up at school and all of them have been a resounding success.

    Tell me which would prevent bullying more:

    getting kicked out of school (which they can be now)


    getting $100 if you can go a whole semester without bullying someone?


    getting an extra week off at Christmas or a week early out of school for summer if they can go a whole year without complaints?

    We reward athleticism.
    We marginally reward academics.

    Why not kindness?

    Posted by: Rin | Nov 3, 2011 10:52:15 AM

  16. I agree with "K", above....please take 30 seconds to send Ms Whitmer an email. a simple sentence or two will do. (i did, and she replied)


    Posted by: oliver | Nov 3, 2011 10:55:57 AM

  17. Here is a complete list of the thugs that have declared war on our kids. If there is an R next to their name they are complicit. Handy phone numbers and email addresses provided.


    Posted by: Tony | Nov 3, 2011 11:09:14 AM

  18. @RIN Boys need to be tough. Masculine values need to be upheld for the good of society. And that requires reinforcement.

    Most "bullying"--of males, at least--is just a test, a test to see how the individual being "bullied" is going to react. Is he going to stand his ground and defend himself or is he going to be passive, effeminate, and weak--in other words, masculinely deficient.

    Trust me, most bullies don't actually want a fight and they will almost always back down when actually challenged.

    The problem is that boys who are gay have been taught by the larger culture--and tragically by the gay male culture, itself--that they are of inferior masculinity and therefore believe that they cannot stand up to a straight guy that is harrassing them.

    The solution is to change the gay male culture from one of effeminacy to one of strength and masculinity, but that would require a total overhaul and most gay men have been so deeply damaged and believe so totally in their own inferiority that suggesting such a change generally results in the kind of hostility being directed at the one suggesting the change, as you have seen in my case.

    I don't expect a woman to be able to understand masculinity fully--it is a guy thing--but I have explained it to you as best I can because I think you are sincere.

    Posted by: Rick | Nov 3, 2011 11:26:43 AM

  19. Ohmigod when will this troll Rick climb back under his bridge?

    Posted by: Christopher | Nov 3, 2011 11:32:57 AM

  20. That was a really good speech. I am glad there people like her in Senate.
    (She reminded me Mary McDonnell playing Laura Roslin on Battlestar Galactice.)

    Posted by: Matt26 | Nov 3, 2011 11:34:57 AM

  21. "Masculine values need to be upheld for the good of society" may be one of the most braindead statements I've read here in a long time. It's very similar to inane NOM comments like "marriage is between a man and a woman" and reeks of all kinds of creepy rightwing paranoia. What exactly are these masculine values? Is it just bullying that society needs, or have you attributed more essential traits to masculinity that society can't do without?

    And even accepting your unsupported proclamation, so what? You say yourself that butching up all the gays requires all sorts of indoctrination and physical training that will never happen. So, we have two choices. Do nothing and watch gay and effeminate kids die, or pass antibullying laws to try to restrain the straight kids flaunting their "masculine values". Seems like a no brainer to me, but maybe I don't have enough testosterone to think clearly.

    Posted by: Brian | Nov 3, 2011 11:46:52 AM

  22. Rick, your world view is about as incongruous as possible. According to you, a smaller, weaker child is a sissy if he doesn't stand up for himself when a larger, more aggressive child attacks him. It seems that even if he's not gay, it's somehow gay culture's fault that he couldn't defend himself. Let's just throw pure physics and strength and size out the window. If he's beat up, well, it's because he's a sissy. It's a real convenient way to blame the victim.

    Whereas the reality is that often larger, more aggressive kids seek out smaller and weaker kids. Period. It has nothing to do with their being gay or straight, it's based purely on size and personality. As we've seen over and over, there are many non-gay kids who are being bullied as well as perceived gay ones.

    I truly feel sorry for you and hope you can heal. Somewhere deep down you have some issues that stem from your own self image as somehow not being good enough because you're gay. To cover this, you're using a stereotypical macho image in the hopes that you can somehow convince yourself and others that being a masculine, macho guy is the only way for all men to be. In your world, all men are supposed to be meat-eating Marines who crush beer cans on their foreheads and don't have a trace of any stereotypical feminine traits whatsoever, not even emotionally. That's totally sad and such a narrow and rigid way to view society.

    Thank goodness that is not how the world is and there's room for ALL types of people. Hopefully someday you'll be OK with who you were as a child and figure out who you are now trying to be as an adult and you'll let go of trying to control others.

    Here's a clue word for you: Diversity.

    Posted by: johnny | Nov 3, 2011 12:02:37 PM

  23. @Brian Like most gay men, you have been so thoroughly stripped of any masculine identity that you truly don't get it. By contrast, 99% of straight men reading what I posted would get it, as, by the way, would 99% of straight women and probably a majority of lesbians.

    A society needs to defend itself against attack and a society in which men have been reduced to sissified cowards will lack the will to do so and will easily be conquered and destroyed. This is the principal practical reason that reinforcement of masculine values is essential--because it would be much easier to be a wimp, run from fights, and, by extension, run from challenges posed by other societies in the form of armed attack than it is to stand strong and be courageous.

    Again, your problem and that of other gay men is that you have internalized the notion that your sexuality marks you as being of inferior masculinity and so your attitudes, far from being defiant, are, in fact, conformist in terms of their relationship to the larger culture.

    The notion that homosexuality and masculine deficiency are synonymous has not been consistent throughout history. I have provided examples before of societies in which homosexuality was a respected expression of masculinity rather than being what it has become in the modern West--and that is the sort of situation we should be aiming for re-creating, not reinforcing the notion that we are big ole wusses who run from fights and therefore represent the worst sort of cowardice.

    But that would raise the bar for all of you and apparently you would prefer to pursue some futile attempt to destroy masculinity rather than deal with the real issue.

    I assure you, though, that your approach will fail. RIN is absolutely correct in saying that you will not legislate an end to "bullying" and those of you who continue to behave effeminately and refuse to try to defend yourselves are simply going to get beat up. And most of you who do so will deserve your fate because you, yourselves, could have prevented it by altering your own behavior in such a way that would not only make you less vulnerable or entirely invulnerable, but that would make you more attractive to each other, as well.

    Your choice.

    Posted by: Rick | Nov 3, 2011 12:05:14 PM

  24. You go girl! Call the bastards out!

    Posted by: Bobby | Nov 3, 2011 12:06:47 PM

  25. Wow rick i wish I had your advice when I was being bullied because i had a kidney transplant. EFF YOU RICK!

    Posted by: Alex | Nov 3, 2011 12:17:34 PM

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