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Bullying bill could get final approval this week

By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wkar/local-wkar-995072.mp3

LANSING, MI – A proposal to require school districts to adopt anti-bullying policies could come up for a final vote in the state Senate this week. It appears most lawmakers are eager to get the issue behind them and an anti-bullying law on the books.

Michigan is one of only three states without an anti-bullying law. Democratic Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer says the Legislature could change that this week.

"I think the quicker we act to protect victims, the better our reputation will be as a state," Whitmer says.

Whitmer says she thinks Senate Republicans are anxious to vote on anti-bullying bill that is less controversial that the one they approved earlier this month. That bill would have created an exemption for statements rooted in religious or moral beliefs. The current proposal does not make that exemption. Whitmer says the current bill is a step in the right direction, but she would still like to approve further protections for kids from cyber-bullying and provide specific protections for gay and lesbian students.

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