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Beyond Bullying: A Short Documentary on Anti-Bullying Legislation in Michigan

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Uploaded on Dec 21, 2011

In November 2011, Michigan's State Senate passed an anti-bullying bill called Matt's Safe School Law, named after Michigan teenager Matt Epling, who took his own life in 2002 after becoming a victim of school bullying. Drafted by several Michigan senators including Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer, the bill was amended at the last minute by Republican senators to excuse bullying if it was based on religious or moral beliefs. This outrageous exemption drew criticism and attention from around the nation and world, and the language was removed before the bill was made law in December.

Matt's Safe School Law is now in effect and helping protect Michigan's children. However, the debate continues over what kind of legislation is necessary: How do we define bullying? Where do we draw the line? Even now, have we done enough?

This documentary was created by college students Michael Johnson, Neal Brower, Mac Jermstad, and Chris Clor at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, Fall 2011.

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