Supporters of Stronger State Bullying Law Rally in Duluth

Created: 12/09/2013 10:50 PM

Supporters of a stronger anti-bill took their message across Minnesota Monday.

They visited schools in three Minnesota cities  Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Duluth  trying to drum up online support for the Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act.

The bill was passed in the House last session, but it was pulled in the Senate because some Republicans said they would filibuster the bill for up to 10 hours, right when time in the session was running out.

The next legislative session starts in a couple of months, and supporters want to get the message to lawmakers.

OutFront Minnesota, Education Minnesota and other members of the coalition, hosted the rallies, including one at Myers-Wilkens Elementary in Duluth.

Supporters say the bill strengthens Minnesota's bullying prevention laws. They argue that at 37 words long, the current law is one of the weakest in the country.

"The bill clearly defines what bullying is and gives teachers and administrators the resources they need to address bullying when it comes up," said Elise Coffin, local youth organizer for OutFront Minnesota. "Every child deserves a safe school and we have to fight for it."

The new bill would require school districts to create very specific policies for bullying or risk losing public funding.

Schools would work with parents and students on their rules. They would also have to investigate all bullying complaints and keep detailed records of those concerns.

Some Republicans say these decisions should be left up to school boards. Others argue that the policies could force values and beliefs on parents and students.

Front Page

  • Superior Murder Trial Delayed after New Evidence Released

    Juan Leonardo Padilla, 40, of Fort Mohave, Ariz., is charged with the shooting death of 46-year-old Terrance Rodney Luukkonen of Duluth last May. Luukkonen was shot outside his workplace at Genesis Attachments in Superior.

  • Homemade Audio Unveiled During Day 2 of Byron Smith Murder Trial

    It was a homemade recording inside Byron Smith's home. The hand held device was next to Smith's chair during the shootings. Smith didn't turn it over to police, or even tell them about it. Investigators found the evidence while searching Smith's home the day after the shootings. Although it was 6 hours long, 14 minutes of the audio clip were played in court Tuesday. 

  • Construction to Begin on Last Major St. Louis County Road Damaged by 2012 Floods

    While the devastating floods of 2012 may be a distant memory for some, there are still some visible scars left - including on one western Duluth road. 57th Avenue West and Highland Street is the last major St. Louis County road still damaged by the flooding.

  • Duluth School Board Approves Plan to Help Sell Central High

    One of Duluth's most scenic vantage points - the Central High School property, has been up for sale for most of four years, but still sits empty. On Tuesday night, school and city leaders took a step to do something about that: a formal working arrangement has been made.

  • Minn. Clergy Members, Doctors Voice Support for Medical Marijuana Legalization

    Medical marijuana is a hotly-debated issue this session, and on Tuesday more than 100 doctors and clergy members headed to the Minnesota State Capitol to show their support for its legalization. The group includes representatives from the Minnesota Nurses Association, Minnesota AIDS Project, AFL-CIO, and the United Food and Commercial Workers union.