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No Bullies Bill

The Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee has recommended consideration of Senate Bill 137, "Matt's Safe School Law," named after Matt Epling, a 14-year-old student who killed himself after a hazing incident in 2002. If passed, the bill would require school districts to implement anti-bullying policies. The bill has been widely approved by school superintendents' groups, principals' groups and the Michigan Education Association.

The bill defines bullying as "any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication, that is intended or that a reasonable person would know is likely to harm one or more students either directly or indirectly" by interfering with the student's educational opportunities, adversely affecting the student's ability to participate in school or activities, having a detrimental effect on the student's physical or mental health, or causing disruption in the orderly operation of a school. The proposed law also has notification requirements to the parent of both the accused and the victim.

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