1390 Eisenhower Place, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108
Phone: 734-975-9500 - Fax: 734-677-2407
Web site: www.michiganptsa.org
After taking the month of October off, the Legislature will resume session after the election to finish the legislative year, and in many cases, their legislative career. When they get back, we need to do a full-court press on anti-bullying legislation. We have worked together for many years to pass a comprehensive bill to address this issue and the recent suicides of bullied teens and young adults have brought the real human tragedy of our inaction to light. We have an opportunity to effect change in the next few weeks.
Please contact your legislators and demand that they take action on Senate Bill 159. Michigan is among just five states in the nation that have not passed an anti-bullying law, while the 45 other states have been adopting these laws since 1999. A first attempt to pass Matt's Law didn't make it to the floor of the Senate for discussion before being dismissed in 2008. A vote on a new version of the anti-bullying bill introduced in 2009 must come before the current legislative session ends on December 31st or that bill, too, will fail to become law. The law requires all Michigan school districts to have an anti-bullying policy and within those policies, districts are urged to spell out what is appropriate student behavior and how bullying will be handled. Senator Glenn Anderson wrote this bill in January of 2009 and it has not progressed. This bill must be moved out of the Education Committee! This bill needs to be placed before the Senate for a vote. It has been studied sufficiently and THE TIME FOR ACTION IS NOW.
It is more crucial than ever to pass the law. Too many students are taking their own lives because of bullying. The policy is important to both protect kids from bullying and to help teach students about bullying. Students report bullying is alive and well in schools. About 30% of Michigan students − more than 265,000 kids − in grades six through ten say they have been bullied, and 19% − 168,000 students − say they have participated in bullying, according to state statistics.
I urge you to take action on this important issue. Now is the time.
(From Lucy: Sen. Mark Jansen (517) 373-0797 SenMJansen@senate.michigan.gov)
If you feel comfortable contacting your Legislator on your own, great! But if you need some help, I will have a form letter that you can personalize and send directly to your Legislators from Michigan PTSA’s CAP WIZ site (http://capwiz.com/npta2/mi/home/). This will walk you through the process and can be very effective.
Nothing good will happen without you and advocates like you.
Please contact me if there is anything that I can do to help you with your advocacy.
Vice President for Children’s Advocacy