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MDCR Commends Governor Snyder on Bullying Focus in Special Message on Education Reform

Contact: Jacki Miller (313) 456-4694
Agency: Civil Rights

Detroit - Earlier today, Governor Rick Snyder presented a special message to the legislature. In response, the Michigan Department of Civil Rights released this statement:

"MDCR commends the Governor for recognizing that bullying is a school safety issue. Even when bullying takes place outside school on cell phones, computers and through social media, schools must recognize that students are impacted in ways they cannot ignore. We echo his call for Michigan to join the 45 states that have anti-bullying laws, and require that schools make every effort to deal with the issue before law enforcement becomes involved.

We join the Governor in asserting 'School policies cannot be designed to cover only some students. Every school must protect every student. As adults, we need to be clear in both word and deed. Bullying is wrong.'

Part of this responsibility falls upon the legislature. Michigan law must require that every school have both anti-bullying policies and procedures in place to address problems as they arise. While each district's policy and procedure should be created locally, based on input from parents, students and educators, a minimum standard that no educator can be permitted to ignore bullying against any student is essential. We are working with legislators to ensure passage of an anti-bullying bill that is both comprehensive and substantive. By acting now, individual policies and procedures will be in place before the next school year begins."

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission is continuing to host a series of public forums around the state on bullying. Both public comment and expert testimony are currently being accessed to develop recommendations for addressing bullying in schools, the workplace and other venues. The recommendations will be released in the fall.

For more information on the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, please visit www.michigan.gov/mdcr.



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