If there were ever any doubts about the power of Michigan’s people to change the course of their Government, I think we can safely lay those to rest.
On November 2nd, the Michigan Senate Republicans passed their “license to bully” bill, legislation that actually authorized bullying of our schoolkids as long as long as it was based on “religious or moral convictions.”
News of this absurd action began to spread quickly from outraged students, parents and teachers. These voices started locally, but quickly spread globally as a video of Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer condemning the Republicans for their actions quickly went viral, with more than 400,000 people viewing it on various sites online. Facebook, Twitter and blogs were all lighting up with comments about the issue and the mainstream media would be soon to follow.
Time Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, MSNBC and many other news outlets, both nationally and internationally, picked up on the story with comments describing the Republicans’ legislation ranging from “despicable” to “laughable” to “the worst bill in the history of the universe.”
Even Stephen Colbert lambasted the Senate Republicans for their actions on The Colbert Report last week:
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|The Word – Bully Pulpit|
It was your posts on Facebook, your tweets and your outrage shared with others about why the Republicans’ actions were wrong that captured the media’s attention. It was your calls and your letters being sent to our legislators that made them realize the tremendous mistake they had made. And it was your personal stories about how bullying has had an impact on your life or that of your child that have resonated with people from around the world on this issue.
Unfortunately, Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville felt it was more important to take a 2 week hunting break than to take action on this new bill and correct the mistake he made. That means our students will be forced to wait another 2 weeks without help from the bullying and harassment they endure. It also means that we must keep making our voices heard so that Senator Richardville doesn’t conveniently forget about the outrage over his actions that he’s heard in recent days.
This fight is not over yet, but let’s let this serve as an example that when we speak out as one, our voices carry volume that can’t be ignored. The Republicans may control the legislature, but they still answer to those that sent them to Lansing. Let’s make sure we remind them of that together.