LANSING — The House of Representatives on Thursday voted to pass House Bill 4163, also known as Matt’s Safe School Law, which calls for school districts statewide to take new steps toward protecting students from bullying. The bill is sponsored by State Rep. Phil Potvin.

“We are putting kids first and making it clear bullying will not be tolerated,” said Potvin, R-Cadillac. “Every student deserves the opportunity to learn and grow in a safe school environment. I am proud to take the lead in giving them that opportunity.”

HB 4163 requires school boards, intermediate school districts and public school academies to adopt a policy prohibiting bullying, have a procedure for reporting bullying and investigations that will hold people responsible, and to notify parents if an incident occurs. Michigan is currently one of only three states in the country with no statute prohibiting bullying in public schools, with Montana and South Dakota being the others.

“Bullying in schools must be stopped. The thing to remember is ‘see it, hear it, stop it,” Potvin said. “Our children are being hurt, threatened and scarred for life. This legislation finally asks schools to do their part in ending the abuse.”

HB 4163 passed with bi-partisan support 88-18 and will now head to the Senate for consideration.