State Rep. Mark Ouimet today voted in favor of legislation requiring all Michigan public schools to adopt a policy to effectively safeguard students from any form of bullying or harassment.
House Bill 4163 received overwhelming bipartisan support from the Michigan House this afternoon. The bill requires all public schools, charter schools and intermediate school districts to implement the policy no later than six months after the bill is signed into law.
“Every child in every public school in Michigan deserves protection from all forms of bullying,” said Ouimet, R-Scio Township. “This is a simply written bill that effectively protects all students from harassment at school. I implore the Senate to consider this updated bill as soon as possible.”
Ouimet stressed that the House version of the anti-bullying bill is not the one recently approved by the state Senate, which included an exemption for statements made based on sincerely held religious beliefs or moral conviction.
"Schools should have a zero tolerance for bullying, and special carve-outs are not necessary and potentially damaging," Ouimet said. "The House bill protects all students, no matter what type of bullying is taking place."
In addition to requiring schools to come up with a plan and have it in place within six months, the bill encourages schools to include provisions in its policy concerning education, parental involvement, reporting, investigation and intervention.
HB 4163 now goes to the Senate for consideration.
(This release was submitted by Rep. Mark Ouimet.)