MNGOP Rep. Jim Newberger compares anti-bullying bill to Orwell's 1984 [VIDEO]

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Rep. Newberger
Hyperbole was taken to hard-to-top heights this afternoon on the House floor as Rep. Jim Newberger, R-Becker, compared the Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act to the dystopian society described by George Orwell in his classic novel, 1984.

Newberger's main concern is a provision in the Safe Schools Act that defines bullying, in part, as "use of electronic technology and communications off the school premises to the extent such use substantially and materially disrupts student learning or the school environment."

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"So if it has a battery, the Democrats want access into your private life," Newberger said. "If this isn't a mirror image of 1984, I don't know what is."

"Do you have children who play games on the internet? Do you have an Xbox or a PS2 in your home?" he continued. "Do they play against other children in their school? Can they text and chat while they're doing so? If they do so while they're machine-gunning and shooting and playing all of these games that are sci-fi or military in nature and they start trash-talking each other and that's over the internet and that's at 11 o'clock on a Sunday night, guess what? That would apply to you. Didn't think about the Xbox issue, did you? But it's there... this is 1984."

Much like Sen. Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes, told us during a conversation last month, Newberger also took exception to a clause in the bill that characterizes "intentional infliction of emotional distress against a student" as bullying behavior.

"Members, people of Minnesota, if you're a teenager you're in emotional distress," Newberger said. "Name one who isn't."

Toward the end of his speech, Newberger said we should encourage Minnesota kids to treat bullies not in the appeasing way Great Britain treated Hitler, but in the ass-kicking way America did.

(For more, click to page two.)



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