Skip to main content

As school begins, new anti-bullying law goes into effect


As Minnesota students head back to school Tuesday, they will be protected under a new anti-bullying law.

Formally known as the Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act, the new anti-bullying law passed the state Legislature in April.

“Minnesota’s schools should be safe and supportive places for everyone,” Gov. Mark Dayton said as he signed the bill into law. “This anti-bullying legislation will make it very clear that bullying is not to be allowed in our schools.”

The Rochester Post Bulletin says Rochester Public Schools is among the districts working on updating its anti-bullying policy, and is expected to pass it at the Sept. 16 school board meeting.

Other schools have already adapted the policy. According to Valley News Live, Moorhead Public Schools updated its policies early last month.

"We took a model policy from the Minnesota School Board Association and adapted it according to new laws in Minnesota," Moorhead Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Lynne Kovash said.

The state’s new Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act replaces a 37-word anti-bullying law, which was commonly called one of the weakest in the nation. The old law merely directed districts to have some sort of anti-bullying policy.

The Safe and Supportive Schools Act requires districts to track and investigate cases of bullying, and also requires schools to offer training to staff in how to prevent bullying. The law also further defines bullying. It notes, in part, that bullying causes physical harm or fear of physical harm and “constitutes intentional infliction of emotional distress.”

According to FOX 9, private and home schools are exempt from the state's new anti-bullying law, although private schools are encouraged to share their anti-bullying policies and incident summaries. Charter schools are also required to follow the law.

Next Up

Kirill Kaprizov

Kirill Kaprizov's slow start is a thing of the past

A potential sophomore slump has been erased with a three-point night against the Devils..

mpd aldi incident screengrab

Video shows MPD officer grab, throw Aldi customer

The department says the matter was referred to the Office of Police Conduct Review.

US Sec Defense Flickr - Joe Bide Nov 11 2021

Biden lays out wintertime plan to curb COVID's spread

It comes as the U.S. reported its second case of the omicron variant.

Willow River DOC

MN Dept. of Corrections offering $5K bonuses as it seeks to hire 200

The DOC is offering hiring bonuses for new employees and for referrals.


3rd federal medical team to join COVID-19 fight in Minnesota

There are more than 1,500 people with COVID-19 admitted to Minnesota hospitals.

hospital, emergency room

Driver killed after other motorist crosses into opposite lane

The head-on crash occurred early Thursday, just north of the Twin Cities.

shot clock

MSHSL approves shot clock for Minnesota varsity basketball

Shot clocks will be required at all varsity games beginning in 2023-24.

Redmons Popcorn Colbert screengrab

Popcorn shop featured on 'The Late Show' has to close 2 days later

A county inspection after the national TV appearance found code violations.


Report to Dayton urges stronger Minnesota anti-bullying law

The Prevention of School Bullying Task Force recommended to state lawmakers Wednesday that the state repeals its current anti-bullying law and replace it with a stronger law to protect students from bullying, harassment and intimidation in Minnesota schools. The 15-member task force's recommendations were delivered in a report to Gov. Mark Dayton.

Feds give Minnesota's anti-bullying law a poor grade

The state ranked among the worst in a new report out from the federal Education Department. The report says Minnesota is one of just a handful of states that prohibit bullying without defining it. The state also lacks a model policy that local districts can use and has no policy on how to handle bullying that happens off school grounds.