Dec 17, 2009

Anti-gay hate group wants the state to forfeit $400 million if state protects bullying

LANSING -- The Michigan Legislature is burning the midnight oil on Thursday evening and Friday morning to enact the "Race to the Top" package of bills that will position Michigan to receive up to $400 million in federal funds through President Barack Obama's "Race to the Top" program that requires states to enact major reforms to receive the funds.

However, the anti-gay hate AFA of Michigan spent Thursday afternoon instructing their members to bombard lawmaker’s office over possible language in the bills that will require schools to adopt a policy that prohibits harassment or bullying at school, as well as prohibiting the harmful and potentially deadly bullying from telecommunications devices. Somehow, the homophobes are upset because it extends protection to students who may be gay.

The disgusting letters come directly from an AFA press release. Chief homophobe Gary Glenn said his group is "hopeful that Republican state senators won’t allow themselves to be bullied by homosexual activist groups and House Democrats into caving in on this matter of principle in hopes of a payoff from federal tax dollars being dangled by the Obama Administration."

The Race to the Top package does a number of things. It would expand the number of charter schools by allowing current charter school operators to open new charter schools, provide a path for alternative teacher certification and it stipulates that districts with at least 25 percent of their students in the lowest achieving 5 percent of buildings in the state would be run by a CEO appointed by the state superintendent.

Separate versions passed the House and Senate earlier thinks month, and a conference committee consisting if three members of the Senate and three from the House are meeting to reconcile the two versions and come up with a compromise. Once that happens, each body will give it an up or down vote. There can be no amendments or substitutes, and if rejected the bills are dead.

Negotiations have been on and off most of the day, and they are expected to go into the early morning hours.

Apparently, the AFA is claiming language in House-passed version is similar to Matt’s Law. So, if it remains in the conference report, the AFA wants us to miss out on $400 million just because we want to protect gays from violence? That’s simply disgusting.

Matt's Safe School Law is named after Matt Epling, a popular East Lansing middle school student who committed suicide as a result of bullying in school, and it would require public school districts in Michigan to establish bullying policies. It has passed the House with bipartisan support, but the Senate refuses to take it up.


Republican Michigander said...

I don't care much for federal mandates. That aside, I don't see how yet another law would do anything to help stop or lessen bullies.

The question is how do laws affect bullying? If schools really want to stop bullying they can stop protecting the bully by not suspending people who fight back.

Nothing sends a better message than a one-two or a kick in the nuts. Too many people don't fight back for a major reason. They get in the same trouble as the bully.

These new laws are nothing more than politicians saying they did something so they can go home and brag. In the meantime, same as it ever was.

Communications guru said...

A mandate? If you want to see a mandate, take a look at no child left behind. At least this alleged mandate is funded.

I disagree with you on the reason for the law. I can personally tell you Matt Appling’s’ parents are behind the law. That’s how democracy I supposed to work

Not Anonymous said...

A law requiring schools to come up with a bullying policy. I think a better question would be why haven't they already?

My kids have been told. If you get hit, you defend yourself. If you get suspended from school, so be it, but you have the right to defend yourself. Of course, I had to remind them that if they were the instigator, their punishment of being suspended would be nothing compared to the punishment they would receive from me.

We don't need a bunch of criminals in the legislature making laws telling people how to act.

I drive by schools and see the signs that say "drug free zone". That's worked out well. It doesn't work. Drugs are still rampant in schools. Maybe it means that drugs are free in schools.

Communications guru said...

That may good for your children, anonymous, but a kid who may be smaller child may not have the physical abilities to fight back. I don’t believe any child should be afraid to go to school. Plus, bullying does not have to be physical.

The criminal crack is so stupid that I’ll ignore it.

Actually, the drug free zones have worked well. Basically, dealing drugs near a school merit’s a stiffer sentence. The fact is drugs are not “rampant in schools.” That’s not to say school kids don’t use drugs, but most of the use is away from school. Take affluent Livingston County, for instance. It has a drug problem with students using prescription drugs. As the middle class continues to struggle, both parents have to work, and that time between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. is where most of the drug use occurs.