MNGOP runs out the clock on anti-bullying bill

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Some MNGOPers are concerned stronger anti-bullying policies "would put students at risk of being labeled bullies for expressing religious views," the AP reports.
Salon's headline says the "GOP actually bullies an anti-bullying bill." We wouldn't go that far, but however you want to describe it, MNGOP senators did whatever it took to prevent an anti-bullying bill from coming up for a vote.

OUR COVER FEATURE: Gay bullying: In wake of suicides, schools face federal scrutiny

As the last day of this year's legislative session began earlier today, Sen. Scott Dibble, D-Minneapolis, decided to pull the plug on his anti-bullying bill after MNGOP senators promised to force 10 more hours of debate on it. It was approved by the House earlier this month in a 72-57 vote.

The Safe and Supportive Schools Act would've required school districts to develop "clear definitions of bullying, harassment, and intimidation; training and resources for students, staff, and volunteers; and forward specific procedures for schools to report bullying incidents."

But according to a Pioneer Press report, opponents argued the bill was "too expensive and overly directive." An estimate by the Minnesota Management and Budget Office service pegged the annual overall cost at roughly $20 million.

In comments made to MPR, MNGOP Minority Leader David Hann of Eden Prairie characterized the legislature's bullying debate as one "our members and many people in the state frankly don't think is needed and we don't like."

"We're getting down to the end of session and there's other things that we need to do," he added.

But Dibble said any Republican who doesn't think there's a need for stronger anti-bullying laws in Minnesota schools simply isn't talking to the right people.

"Republican after Republican got up and said, 'I talked to superintendents and they say things are just fine in our schools,'" Dibble told MPR. "Not one of them talked about talking to kids themselves. Well, I talked to literally hundreds of kids and they tell us things are not fine in their schools."

In a statement, Dibble promised that the DFL will try again to pass an anti-bullying bill next year.

"This failure is only a setback. This bill remains a live bill," Dibble said. "We will take it up first thing next February and put every word of it into law."

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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8 comments
nbrooks4
nbrooks4

Maybe students getting bullied should start carrying guns to school.  Nothing wrong with protecting yourself if no one is willing to help. And since we have such relaxed gun laws this shouldn't be a problem for anyone.  People love their guns!! Just saying.....

nbrooks4
nbrooks4

@digitalprotocol @nbrooks4 Might as well, seems our state congress has.  Look at what passed and what got put on hold.  I mean a tobacco tax that was suppose to go to health care is going to a new Vikings stadium.... couldn't the money go to the anti-bully instead?  No, it's more important to have a new football stadium than it is to protect our students.

nbrooks4
nbrooks4

and for the record, that was sarcasm above..... based on the fact that they did not pass stricter gun laws here.....  sick humor.  

nbrooks4
nbrooks4

@digitalprotocol @nbrooks4  Not sure all the details of the bill..... just this article.  But that is why we have laws in place..... to protect people who need protection.  Not all are good and not all work but sometimes it's better than nothing.  There is a law against gay bashing but it still happens.  So what, we just sit back and do nothing?  We have to fight back the best we can, plain and simple.  :o)

nbrooks4
nbrooks4

@digitalprotocol@nbrooks4Most of the bills are.... and you are correct.....   There is a lot broke that needs repaired. Unfortunately the average person is, for the most part, getting the short end of the stick.  Did the part giving major corporations a 14% tax break pass?

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@nbrooks4 this specific bill is laughable too - kids are kids

adults bully- politicains bully - politics is bullying

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@nbrooks4 both what passed and what was put on hold are laughable - fix whats broke before creating new problems

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