OutFront Minnesota and the Safe Schools for All Coalition are hosting a presentation about the Safe and Supportive Minnesota School Act from 6:30-8 p.m. Monday at Central Lakes College, Brainerd campus.
In a 2010, the Minnesota Student Survey, conducted jointly by the state departments of Health and Education, 13 percent of students reported being bullied once a week or more. A 2011 report from the U.S. Department of Education rated Minnesota’s current anti-bullying law the weakest in the nation.
If passed, organizers of the meeting said, the Safe Schools bill would provide the state with one of the most effective, according to the groups. It would also help prevent bullying by reducing absences, suspensions and dropout rates, which will save Minnesota taxpayers money in the long run.
The bill includes:
• Clear definitions of bullying, harassment, and intimidation.
• Enumerated protections for students who are most likely to be bullied or harassed because of their actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, disability, sex, age, national origin, immigration status, marital status, family status, socioeconomic status, physical appearance, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.
• Training and resources for students, staff, and school volunteers on bullying prevention and intervention.
• Guidelines for school staff to follow when bullying incidents are reported, including the use of remedial responses that emphasize restorative justice to correct prohibited behavior.
If enacted, the bill is funded and includes $1 million to hire employees and help school districts across the state implement the bill once it is passed. School districts will have the flexibility to develop their own policy in a way that fits their school and their students.
For more information, contact Andy Mundt, OutFront Minnesota Community Organizer: email@example.com or 651-233-8499.