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Politics & Government

Dad: Latest anti-bullying bill not strong enough

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Courtesy Epling family
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Matt Epling of East Lansing committed suicide weeks after an assault by a group of older students in 2002.

A measure that would require Michigan schools to have anti-bullying policies has taken a small step forward. But one father says lawmakers are taking too long and doing too little.

Matt Epling was 14 years old when he was lured to an East Lansing park where he was assaulted and pelted with eggs by a group of older boys in 2002.

Officials called the incident “hazing.”

Kevin Epling says his son had been a confident, creative kid, but the public humiliation was too much. Matt took his own life a few weeks after the attack.

"What I found most disturbing was the overwhelming fact that assaults like that were tolerated and were accepted by the general public -- including the school, including fellow parents, including the police," Epling says.

Epling says a bill approved by a state Senate committee this week mandates that schools adopt anti-bullying policies, but leaves out specifics.

For more information about Kevin Epling's efforts to combat bullying, visit mattepling.com

Contact Rina Miller at catmil@umich.edu.