Michigan Senate Republicans have passed a bill that allows people to bully others based on moral and religious reasons. Then, to show that they know what the word 'asshole' means when applied to them, they name it after a gay teen who committed suicide because of bullying that this bill allows.
You can read about it here.
This is the lowest of lows. In the face of all the recent suicides that have happened or will happen because of bullying, this is absolutely sick. These people that have passed this bill should be charged with accessory to a crime. They may not go out there and actively harass someone but they might as well, who knows how many people this will hurt.
What these people don't realize, is that suicide is only one of the things you'd have to worry about with this bill. People react in different ways. Some want to hurt themselves, and some want to lash out. In all honesty, I'm just going to throw it out there, they're setting themselves up for another Columbine or school shooting.
Fuck it doesn't even have to be a school shooting, because this bill applies to all ages and all people.
When I was a child in the 8th grade at Southampton, I was harassed day in and day out by this bitch named Kim. She made fun of me for being fat. All the time. Looking back now at old pictures I realize I wasn't really that fat, but it didn't matter because she made me believe that I was horrendously overweight. She made me believe that I was worthless. I almost failed classes because if she was in one of them I would fake sick, numerous times, to get out and stay at the nurse. The worst part was that my locker was right next to hers and I would continuously either miss the bus or almost miss it because I was too afraid to go near it when she was near. There was no telling what she would do once she saw me.
And as per usual in these types of situations, no one helped me. I told teachers who told me to ignore the girl that pushed me into walls and got in my face to scream at me and tell me how disgusting I was. We were made to go to peer mediation, which is a bullshit way to deal with things, I presume because the principal didn't actually want to deal with it. The mediator was one of her best friends. Kim said I was blowing things out of proportion and her friend looked me in the eye and told me Kim would never do those things. As far as the teachers were concerned Kim was a good person. They never saw her do any of these things, because she was smart enough not to do them while the teachers were in ear or eyesight.
I had no where to go, no one to protect me. Things finally came to a head when she asked to talk to me and lead me into the bathrooms while I was trying to go to my bus. She exploded at me because I had dared to go to someone else for help about what she was doing. She slapped me a couple of times in the face and called me a pig and then told me that if I told anyone she would blow a hole through my head. She told me that she was lucky she didn't bash my face into a wall right then and there.
I went home and it was like I had snapped. I was angry this time. Angry at her for what she had said and did and angry at myself for not doing anything about it. For a week I planned her murder. I had everything figured out to the last detail; or at least I thought I had. I may have been able to hide evidence but the fact that I was planning on running away after that would point everything all at me. Also I was going to dump her body in one of the school trash cans and cover her with trash. Once again, she would have been found. Also there probably would have been a lot more blood than what I originally thought there would be.
One morning before I went to school I stole my mom's car keys and hid them in my room. I was intent on driving as far as I could after school. I took a knife to school and kept it in my pants pocket. All day I looked for her; I wasn't afraid, I was pumped. Also a little paranoid. Every so often my hand would absent-mindedly go to my pocket to check and make sure the knife was hidden and it didn't look like I had one. When I got to my locker I stuck my hand in my pants and gripped the handle and asked her friend where she was. She was sick and didn't come to school that day. I went home and put the knife back when no one was looking and told my mom the keys she was looking for all day had been in my room. Then I played stupid as to why they were there.
I couldn't believe how stupid I had acted. How could I even think of killing another person? How could I have almost done something so absolutely idiotic? I had almost thrown my whole life away.
The next time Kim came into school, she acted different. I'll never know if her friend told her about how strangely I acted when I asked for her, or if someone at school finally listened to me and called her mom or what. I can't remember exactly what she said to me, but she called a truce. She said she'd be my friend and stop hassling me if I went on a diet. I agreed if only to get her out of my hair and to make my living hell finally fucking end.
Later that year I almost passed out in math class and had to be sent to the nurse because I had starved myself for three days and forgot to stay hydrated. After that I got smarter and remembered to bring a water bottle to school. I would have done anything to make her leave me alone and not eating food was a small price to pay. If I remember correctly it wouldn't be until halfway through 9th grade when I would say, fuck this starving shit.
After I graduated 8th grade, my family moved back to our old house. Everyone hated it there. I never saw Kim again and I never had to deal with her. It would be another year before I started to get my backbone and finally start standing up for myself...which gave me the courage to stand up for others when I saw them going through what I went through. That's not to say that everything was absolutely cheery and I had a perfect life or anything, after 8th grade is also when I started to cut to numb myself from the pain. But for the most part when people gave me shit I told them where to stick it...and more importantly I had friends who would if I didn't or couldn't. Friends that treated me like a blood relative and who I also thought of as family.
To this day I've always wanted to confront Kim. Ask her what the fuck was wrong with her and let her know exactly how far I was willing to go to make her quit. Also I get strong urges to punch her in the face. I will always remember the gut wrenching fear I felt all throughout school. The shame and humiliation and the feeling that, even though I had friends, I was all alone in this fight that not even adults were willing to help me with. I remember nights when I would cry into my pillow and pray for God to kill me, or ask Him and His angels why they hated me so much they would allow this to happen.
You can absolutely give a moral or religious reason for teasing someone for being overweight. You can also give a moral or religious reason for bullying someone for being black, mixed, Muslim...it doesn't matter. These Senators are putting people in the same exact position I was put in in 8th grade. I didn't kill Kim and I was brought back to my senses...but who's to say that the next person or people will come to the same conclusions? As I said before, suicide is not the only thing these bill makers will have to worry about. Not everyone is going to stand for someone else's shit.