Bullying on agenda for Minnesota lawmakers

Author:
Updated:
Original:

A number of Minnesota lawmakers and activist groups are gearing up for an effort to toughen up the state's 37-word anti-bullying law when the new legislative session starts next month, MPR News reports.

The law is often called among the weakest in the nation. It directs school districts to have a bullying policy, but doesn't offer guidance on what a policy should do.

Della Kurzer-Zlotnick, an 18-year-old senior at St. Paul's Central High School, told MPR News that she faced bullying in seventh grade, mostly hurtful comments directed at her because her two moms are lesbians. She didn't tell her parents or anyone at the school about it, MPR reports.

"I couldn't show them any physical scars, so I didn't think there was anything they could do about it," she said.

But Kurzer-Zlotnick told MPR that she would have sought help five years ago if Minnesota had had a stronger bullying law.

Strengthening the state's anti-bullying law was on the plate of lawmakers last year, but it fell off the table, and legislators vowed then to take another run at it in 2014.

KARE 11 reported that among the groups pushing for a stricter law are the LGBT activist organization OutFront Minnesota and Education Minnesota, the state teacher's union. OutFront has an online petition that calls on lawmakers to strengthen the law.

Critics of creating a tougher anti-bullying law have raised concerns about a law that would specifically create protections for gay and lesbian students, MPR notes. The law also could create unfunded mandates for local districts that would be required to pay for additional staff training, critics have said.

In a six-month 2011 investigation, MPR News reported that the state's weak bullying law resulted in inconsistent policies across the state. Among other topics, the investigation examined cyber bullying and told the stories of three bullied teens who committed suicide.

Next Up

Willmar Police Department

'Errant bullet' goes through garage wall, kills Willmar man

The man was working in his garage when he was shot, witnesses said.

Screen Shot 2021-01-16 at 10.59.00 PM

Wild tie Kings with 2 seconds left, win in overtime

Another incredible finish for the Wild.

Screen Shot 2021-01-16 at 6.53.17 PM

Mike Lindell's MyPillow offering discounts using the code 'Qanon'

The Shakopee-based company is under the microscope because of the recent actions of its owner.

Surly Brewing

Facing aluminum can shortage, Surly unveils solution: 'Cantyhose'

The brewery came up with a creative way to repurpose unused cans.

Liam Robbins

Gophers stay perfect at home by crushing 7th-ranked Michigan

Liam Robbins and Marcus Carr were too much for the previously undefeated Wolverines.

police lights

Four teens arrested over robberies in Minneapolis

They teens were found in a vehicle that was taken during an earlier carjacking.

Boundary Waters/BWCA

All BWCA visitors will now have to watch three 'Leave No Trace' videos

Visitors left an "unacceptably high amount" of damage last year.

ambulance

Ten fatal overdoses in past 6 weeks reported in region of northern MN

Law enforcement agencies have issued a plea to the general public.

u.s. district court minnesota - federal court minneapolis

Bracing for security threats, federal courthouses closing in Minnesota

Security is also being ramped up at the state capitol.

N95 mask

3M sues Florida company that sold 10K counterfeit N95 masks to HCMC

The Maplewood company has obtained a temporary injunction against the firm.

Related