Minnesota’s New Bullying Law and the Ability of Educators to Respond to Off-Campus Bullying

On April 9th Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed into law the “Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act” which, among other things, updates the state’s anti-bullying legislation. The previous version of the law, last updated in 2007, was much maligned as being among the “worst in the nation.” I’m not sure that designation is accurate, but it was by far the shortest bullying law in the U.S. at just 37 words in length. The new law is much more comprehensive, which had also led to attracting its share of critics.

Some argue that it is an attack on local control or that it somehow challenges the ability of parents to respond to bullying in a way that they think is appropriate. Others say it threatens free speech. Still others argue that this is just another unfunded mandate for schools, and to that I say, fair enough. I (read more…)

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