Last week, I wrote about Carson Borbely & Katy Butler, two inspiring Ann Arbor teens who have done something tangible and important to combat bullying in Michigan. Fighting back against a Senate-passed “License to Bully” bill that claims to be “anti-bullying”, the created a petition at Change.org. When I wrote my piece last Thursday, the petition had a bit over 53,000 signatures. Today, only five days later, it has over 55,000.
Katy and Carson are also beginning to get noticed. Shortly after my piece (along with some targeting tweeting and emails), AnnArbor.com did a piece about them. So did the Macomb Patch. So did CBS Detroit. So did Yahoo! News.
With a week still to go before the Michigan legislature returns, Carson and Katy are still trying to secure as many signatures as they can. Their goals, as I wrote in my original piece, are:
- The “license to bully” bill will only make things worse for students, not better. By providing special exemptions for bullying done for “religious or moral convictions,” the state Senate has already approved a dangerous bill that basically shows bullies how to get away with hurting students. We can’t let them do it again.
- We want the Michigan Legislature to pass a good anti-bullying bill. One that doesn’t have special exemptions, but does list the reasons students are bullied most often, and does add reporting requirements. A bill that actually protects students.
- It’s important to have student voices in this debate because we’re the ones who will be most directly impacted by this bill. This campaign — of 50,000 and growing — is providing bullied youth across the state of Michigan an opportunity to speak out and get involved in the legislative process. People keep telling us youth “It Gets Better.” Well we’re working to make it better.
Please help spread the word.