Michigan is now one of 48 states with an anti-bullying law. Governor Rick Snyder signed a measure into law today that requires all school districts to adopt anti-bullying policies.
The bill does not require those policies to include lists of the characteristics that should be protected from bullying - including weight, gender, and sexual orientation.
Kevin Epling, the father of a teenage boy who committed suicide a few years ago after being bullied, says he would prefer listing protected characteristics, but he is glad Michigan finally has an anti-bullying law.
"You know, this may not be everything we wanted, compared to other states, but you know it's a firm foundation to start from," Epling says. "Once the bill is signed, that's when the hard work begins. That's the implementation phase. That's where all of the students, that's where all of the parents, that's for the schools, to get involved and make change."
State officials estimate 25 percent of school districts in Michigan do not have anti-bullying policies already in place.
The governor was joined for the signing by several parents of kids who committed suicide after being bullied at school.
Snyder says he too was bullied as a child.
"Nothing to the degree that these parents have suffered, but I was a victim of bullying," he says. "I was beaten up in elementary school, I was beaten up in middle school - it was junior high back then - I got pushed around, shoved around in high school and even college for being a nerd. And it's not right."
Snyder says he would like state lawmakers to continue to look into the importance of protecting kids from bullying on the internet and via cell phones.
Before this week, Michigan was one of three states with no anti-bullying law.