The Free Press, Mankato, MN


April 10, 2014

Our View: Bullying bill will work for Minnesota

Minnesota lawmakers passed a bullying bill that wasn’t as strong as we suggested but will likely be far better than Minnesota’s previous 37-word law on the subject.

In January, this page advocated for a common-sense bullying law that helped train people how to spot bullying and required schools to have a concrete bullying policy.

Requirements for more funding to train school officials or to collect bullying data would have been ideal, but we suggested there were already adequate resources in place to confront bullying. We saw the 37-word law as inadequate, and suggested that a more detailed law would make a strong statement that the state was going to take bullying seriously.

The law that appears headed for Gov. Dayton’s signature includes some of what we said was needed. It expands the details and definition of bullying and requires schools to have a policy based on principles laid out in the law or to adopt the model state policy.

All in all, the bullying law passed represents progress on this very serious issue for Minnesota school children. We give the Legislature a score of 7 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best possible outcome.

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