ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson says the state needs to “create a strong tone and school culture” against bullying with more investigation, reporting and discipline around cases.
Swanson and a Democratic legislator on Wednesday proposed toughening Minnesota law to match an anti-bullying model recently adopted in North Dakota.
“We want to open the windows and let the air in. When bullying happens, it often happens in secret. It’s not reported, it’s not investigated. What we’re trying to do is, foster an environment in which bullying would be reported and would be taken seriously,” Swanson said.
It would require schools to bolster their anti-bullying policies and report annually to the state about incidents they look into. Those policies would have to include disciplinary measures for substantiated bullying behavior, including law enforcement notification in some instances.
Minnesota’s current bullying law is one paragraph long and leaves much to the discretion of school districts. Swanson says school districts would still craft their own policies as long as they meet minimum state standards.
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