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Protest Michigan’s green light on religious bullying

The Michigan State Senate on Tuesday passed what looks like a commendable bill to reduce bullying in the public schools, which includes a provision that would appear to exempt bullying in the name of religion:

"This section does not prohibit a statement of a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction of a school employee, school volunteer, pupil, or a pupil's parent or guardian." (SB-0137, C-8). (See p. 5)

The Michigan bill would make it open season on religious bullying. The vote was 26-11, with only Republicans voting for the bill.

FFRF's legal team spends the bulk of its time trying to enforce neutrality over religion in public schools. We are monitoring coaches, principals, teachers, student bible clubs, and even other students who view a captive audience of students as recruiting territory. Abuses FFRF has handled recently include science teachers who jeer at evolution, music teachers who make children sing Sunday school praise songs, principals who post the Ten Commandments on school walls, kindergarten teachers who illegally train their small charges to pray before their milk and cookies, and schools which allow unsupervised Christian youth pastors to roam lunchrooms in search of souls to save. In one recent case FFRF is pursuing, a parent reported that a religious teacher belittled an eighth grade student because the parent was divorced. The teacher reportedly said in the classroom that divorce is a "sin" and the student's parents would "go to hell."

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