Press Release

For Immediate Release: March 16, 2012

Governor's Task Force on the Prevention of Bullying to Hold First Meeting

This Monday will mark the first meeting of the Governor's Task Force on the Prevention of Bullying. Established by Executive Order on November 29, 2011, the task force will be charged with examining the best practices and policies that currently exist to prevent bullying and providing future recommendations to the Governor and the legislature on this subject.

"Students can't learn if they don't feel supported and safe. Bullying creates an unsafe learning environment that can have a lasting negative impact on a child. Our schools need to be places that cultivate a positive environment where students can thrive. That's why the mission of the Governor's Task Force is so important," Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said.

Department of Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey said, "Every student deserves to be free of harassment, intimidation and bullying in all its forms. The Governor's leadership in establishing this task force provides an opportunity for us to come together as a community to find real solutions to this problem, and ensure that all kids have an opportunity to achieve their potential in a safe environment."

Comprised of 15 members, the taskforce includes the Commissioners of the Department of Education, the Department of Human Rights, the Department of Public Safety and members of the legislature. Governor Dayton also appointed additional members with experience or expertise in psychology, education, pediatrics and anti-bullying advocacy.

Members of the task force and their affiliations include:

  • Brenda Cassellius, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Education
  • Kevin Lindsey, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Human Rights
  • Willie Bridges, Senior Planning Manager, Hennepin County Attorney's Office
  • Vangie Castro, Youth Education Program Manager, Rochester Public Schools
  • Phil Duran, Legal Director, OutFront Minnesota
  • Alana Friedman, Teacher
  • Julie Hertzog, Director, PACER National Bullying Prevention Center
  • Lyn Mitchell, Co-Founder, AMAZE
  • Jacob Reitan, Founder, Equality Ride
  • Walter Roberts, Professor of Counselor Education, Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Dr. Thomas Scott, Pediatrician
  • Senator Scott Dibble
  • Senator Ted Daly
  • Representative Jim Davnie
  • Representative Tim Kelly

The meeting is scheduled to take place at 1:00 pm in the Minnesota Department of Education Conference Center A; Room 13.


Department of Education Contact: Keith Hovis, MDE 651.582.8275

Department of Human Rights Contact: Jeff Holman, 651-539-1090,

Press Releases

More About the Task Force at these links: