TIme will tell what the true effect will be on schools as a new law increases emphasis on reporting bullying. Procedures for monitoring and reporting bullying behavior will become more rigorous for staff and training requirements will also increase.
The Safe and Supportive Schools Act is designed to take effective action against bullying in Minnesota schools, and has the support of over 100 parent and education organizations across the state.
Gov. Mark Dayton signed the Safe and Supportive Schools Act last week. The new law, authored by state Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, and state Rep. Jim Davnie, DFL-Minneapolis, strengthens protections against the threat of bullying in Minnesota schools. The new measure aims to provide local school districts the guidance, support, and flexibility to adopt clear and enforceable school policies to help protect victims of bullying.
The act puts several measures in state law to help protect Minnesota children from the threat of bullying, including locally implemented school policies, training for teachers and staff, and additional support for schools. It directs public and charter schools to adopt local policies to prevent and prohibit school bullying. School districts will also have the option to adopt anti-bullying policy language drafted by the state.
In recent years, all Minnesota schools were required to implement some type of bullying policy. The Eden Prairie district is one of several to use the bullying prohibition policy established by the Minnesota School Boards Association. The four-page policy was originally drafted in 2003 and revised in 2010 to include cyberbullying. It is one branch of the district’s lengthy student discipline policy, which is used to address bullying specific issues.
“I won’t say it isn’t a problem, there are times when students make bad decisions,” Supt. Curt Tryggestad said in response to the amount and severity of bullying in the district. “This bill is all about protecting victims and having options and ways to work through bullying situations.”
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