2014: Anti-Bullying Legislation: The Safe and Supportive Schools Act
Dayton Signs Anti-Bullying Bill
STAR TRIBUNE, By Kim McGuire and Rachel E. Stassen-Berger, April 10, 2014
Activists rejoiced, while some opponents said their reservations linger. Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday signed a bullying-prevention bill into law, creating a tough new set of rules for Minnesota schools to follow to protect students from being tormented by classmates.
The Safe and Supportive Schools Act replaced a 37-word anti-bullying law that was widely considered one of the nation's weakest. Its passage came almost three years after the state's largest school district was hit with a lawsuit that accused it of failing to protect students from being bullied.
"Nobody in this state or nation should have to feel bad about themselves for being who they are," Dayton said. "This law says, 'Not in Minnesota.' "
For more than two years, legislators have been battling over the measure's language, details and philosophy. Opponents argued that it was too prescriptive and would take away control from local officials who know their schools best. The law requires school districts to track and investigate cases of bullying and to better train staffers and teachers on how to prevent it.