What is Matt's Law?
Matt's Law will require every school district in MI to have an anti-bully policy. Currently it is suggested that schools have such a policy. Without a policy, teachers, students and parents alike do not know the boundaries of what is and what is not acceptable behavior. The policies will also be very useful for local law enforcement to better assist local schools.
Our schools were asked in 2000 to start looking at this serious issue and a one page policy was drafted by the State Department of Education to help them.
In 2006 we were able to work with the Department of Education to redraft the policy using the proposed legislation as a guide. The new policy was adopted in September of 2006.
This gives schools who do not currently have a policy, a starting place.
Prior to and since Columbine, school incidents of peer on peer violence have grabbed national headlines, and the common thread has been the persistent bullying of those committing the crimes.
We as a society need to stop placing band-aids on this terrible situation and begin to fix what is truly wrong and begin a cultural shift away from violence as the "norm".
Can it be done? I believe it can, but not without all of us working together.
I personally believe any law should reflect the individuals it intends to govern, and we need to listen and champion those who need it most, our children.
It simply was not the fact that Matt was assaulted, it is the fact that it was "normalized" or seemed "okay" for these events to happen. I do not agree with the notion "it is part of growing up" and have stayed true to my goal of trying to prevent any child from being subjected to such antics.
Change can start with one voice, one act, but it will take all of us to realize the transformation.
Additional information can be found on the links page and the Lobby Day pages.