Family Equality Council; GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, and its Michigan chapters; and PFLAG, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays National, and its Michigan chapters laud last week’s introduction of an enumerated anti-bullying bill in the Michigan Senate by Sen. Gretchen Whitmer. Enumerated bills include a list of characteristics most often targeted for bullying or harassment.
“We commend Senator Whitmer for introducing an enumerated anti-bullying bill that will provide strong protections for all Michigan students,” the organizations said in a statement. “Research shows that naming the problem is particularly important in addressing all forms of bullying. We know this is especially true when it comes to actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. We urge Michigan’s elected leaders to protect all of Michigan’s students by supporting Senator Whitmer’s bill.”
The Harris Interactive Report From Teasing to Torment: School Climate in America found that students who live in states with enumerated policies are less likely than those with a generic, non-enumerated policy or no policy at all to say that bullying is a very or somewhat serious problem at school (33% vs. 44%).
The bullying problem is especially severe for LGBT students (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender). A GLSEN research brief found that 87% of Michigan LGBT students had been harassed in school in the past year.