Students Demand Stronger Bullying Laws At The Capitol

MINNEAPOLIS (WCC) – Students against bullying rallied at the Capitol Saturday, demanding tougher laws against bullying.

Those who attended the rally, which took place at noon, wore orange — the color o the bullying prevention movement.

Speakers at the rally included the author of a stronger anti-bullying bill, a student who had suffered under bullying and the actor Colin Ford, of the movie “We Bought A Zoo,” who addressed the group via Skype.

The idea for the rally started with a public policy class at Mounds Park Academy. Four seniors formed a group called Students Demanding Change, and they partnered with the PACER Center, a Minnesota-based anti-bully organization, to hold the rally.

Sydney Eberwein, one the students leading Students Demanding Change said, “The students’ voice isn’t really heard on the issue of bullying prevention. It’s usually just legislators talking about it. We wanted to have our voice out there, because it is a student issue.”

Every day, more than 160,000 kids miss school fearing an attack or intimidation by other students, according to the PACER Center.

  • more of the lib lob

    This is about bad parenting. So sick of the liberal agenda.

  • Geri

    Children are not an agenda. They are humans in need of protection from non humans that think like you.

  • See BS

    We already have strict stalking and violence laws in the State of Minnesota.

    These kids are just “Munchausen Junkies”

  • Rob




    • See BS

      These kids are engaged in bullying — I bet they are political at school around other children too.

      These kids are living proof our Education system engages in political activism, like a State Sponsored religious institution for liberal religion.

      Look up the word “MUNCHAUSEN” if you think I am missing the point.

      • rkwaldron

        I did look up MUNCHAUSEN, and certainly there are some kids in Minnesota schools with that problem. How many??? I don’t know how big of a problem that is. I have not seen any unbiased research studies that show that. There may be some, but I don’t have the time to research it. But I do know that I have many friends and family that have left the teaching profession for many reasons. Some of the leading reasons to get out of teaching are:
        1. Parents that blame everyone else for their child’s failures
        2. Parents that are too busy working one or more jobs to pay the bills with no time for parenting, so the kids use their pier groups as parents.
        3 Parents that just do not care enough and have other priorities than their children.
        4 Removal of physical consequences for very bad student behavior,
        5. Unions that will do nothing to protect their membership from bad administrators, ( Yes I have facts where a tenured teacher was fired for whistle blowing on two broken state statues by a school administrator, These actions put several disabled students at risk)
        6. Incompetent school management/school boards.
        7. No child left behind- The focus has been on teaching how to excel on taking no child left behind tests.
        8. Teachers find they can make more money pursuing other careers.

        Young college graduates that enter the teaching profession with lofty goals, full of enthusiasm. They start out at a low wage that will not pay their student loan bills and allow then to fully support themselves, and soon find it is not what they thought it was going to be. I routinely now speak on the consequences of teaching in a public school. Bullies in public schools are a real problem. But I do believe the many teachers I know and those that have decided to get out and they all tell me it is a serious problem. The news media sometimes reports on kids that finally break down and decide being dead is better than continuous torture at school. Some of these kids “grow a spine” and blow up or shoot up the school. Some just give up and choose suicide. This plays out across our nation over and over again. Grow a spine is not a solution. Get a thicker skin, don’ t be so sensitive is not a solution.

        Here is a solution for bullies I like: kids go to school, they sit down and shut up if they don’t want to learn. They leave every one else alone. If they really want to bully someone and just have to do it, go down to the local police station and try out their bully skills on a policeman. See how that works out for them. Of course that would never happen, they might get a taste of a night stick, or a taser, and these cowards have already figured out not to take on anyone that would be capable of retaliating. I really do not like bullies very much, from my perspective they are cowards in the same group as wife beaters.

  • Kevin

    My God this is sick! Using kids?

  • Pundit

    The hidden agenda is to force teachers to teach gay is OK.

    Using children for political gain is sick.

    • Larry

      I agree….this is exactly what the agenda is all about. teaching that gay is ok is NOT OK!!!! and it doesn’t mean that thats ‘bullying’

  • Whatever. What cha' gonna' do when you have to fight for your freedom, little girls?

    This just in:

    Adults demand children to grow spines.

    That concludes this update…

    • No kidding

      The pussification of American youth continues…

      • Bernie

        Let the weak fall, natural selection is for the good of all mankind.

  • ishgood

    If I saw a kid being cruel to another kid I would not need anyones permission to put a stop to it.

    Obviously the bullying is driven by adults. If these incidents start getting investigated the trail will lead to adults. If they have lost control of their children, or are using their children to commit crimes then a higher authority needs to step in.

  • js

    But what can you do about it? Public schools are not allowed to kick out bad kids. They can only transfer them to another public school. This activism will continue forever, b/c there’s nothing you can do. Job security for some…

  • Jinna Johnson

    I am a classmate of the four girls who organized this rally and am so proud of them for organizing this rally. First of all, no one is “using kids” – all of the girls are intelligent seniors, 17 and 18-year-olds who are well aware of what they are trying to make a difference for. I bet that all of you who are criticizing this movement are not a student in school; therefore you don’t get to tell students who face bullying every day to “grow spines”. The word bullying in itself brings up the stereotypical kid who takes a classmate’s lunch money but it has evolved into so much more than that. Bullying has a profound effect on students who are victims of what is basically verbal and sometimes physical abuse by their classmates in school and no one can measure how that affects someone’s life – you have no idea.
    As for the political agenda accusations, really? Is asking for change so students can feel safe and protecting them from bullying that can lead to things like self-harm and suicide that horrible?
    I would expect kids to think that bullying is not a big deal, but coming from adults? That’s disappointing, Minnesotans. Thanks for showing your support and for hiding behind the internet. Perhaps you learned that from teenage cyberbullies?

    • Maria


      Well said! You guys are dealing with much more ubiquitous bullying then has ever existed, such as online bullying, with all forms of social media out there. Many of these posters are ignorant of the reality, if not apathetic. They can’t imagine walking in your shoes for one day. Not all adults are like them. Some of us are proud of you for taking a stand. We stand with you against bullying, and we’ll do what we can to fight for justice, compassion, and equality.

      Stay strong!

    • Carol

      You are so correct Jinna. Bullying is not what it use to me. It has gotten out of controll. When I was growing up you always heard of the bully who took your lunch money or called someone 4-eyes but you never heard of a child committing suicide over it. If they were caught and parents were told they not only got in trouble at school but at home as well. Bullying has become very vicious on so many levels. I’m glad to see the young adults taking a stand and hope the same young adults step in if they see the bullying. It is so easy for someone to hide behind the internet these days. It is sad though that it takes a law to try and stop bullying.

      • Carol

        sorry…that should have read “what it use to Be”

    • rkw

      You are attempting to pursue an adult solution as a minor. This puts you in a category people that attempt to get government to do what it is supposed to do as a diligent informed citizen. You are doing this before society expects you to, as you are in a unique position to view bullies first hand. Negative comments here with bully tactics are perhaps bullies in school or adults that were bullies in school, whatever the case you display what is the best of what our humanity can put forth. Too many on this forum display name calling, bully tactics, inartistic self centered behavior. Many repeat what some talking head has preached to them, without ever questioning what they have been told. I applaud you taking the high road. People like you give me hope that this country can actually turn itself around. I have been watching it slide backwards since 1972, I have voted in every election and tried to be a good citizen, by volunteering in my community. I have tried very hard to be a responsible citizen, yet I feel helpless to effect any positive change in the direction this country takes. Yet, here we are debating if there is bully problem. And after you graduate, please pursue a career outside of public school or private school education, both are low paying, abusive careers. Best of Luck,

  • Chris Mallon

    What a joke!!!!! Now kids have “special needs” for everything. Bullying has been going on since the beginning of time. Grow up!!

    • D Fogel

      Yes, crime in general has been going on since the beginning of time, but a civilized society doesn’t “grow up” and accept crime. Assault and Battery are crimes, whether committed in or out of school.
      “as·sault and bat·ter·y
      The crime of threatening a person together with the act of making physical contact with them.”

  • Jason

    PACER Center is unique in that it serves children with all disabilities; learning, physical, emotional, mental and health. No other organization in Minnesota offers this broad range of service to families. PACER also works in coalition with 18 disability organizations. From thier webpage. Pacer is not an anti bullying organization. I know of this, Wcco stop giving credit where none is due

    • Jenna

      PACER has over 30 different programs, one of them being PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center.

  • MN Cop

    I think some of you are confused. I agree that sometimes kids need to grow a spine. Kids need adversity in their lives, kids need to be rejected from time to time, they need to be told no, etc, etc. When I was in school (many moons ago now…) kids picked on each other. Sometimes a certain kid was targeted more that others. That was bullying. But it was different. It was a rare occasion that it got to the point where the kid was scared to turn a corner, scared to go into the bathroom, or come to school. The incidents were spread out, it wasn’t a constant barrage of insults and beatings from multiple sources. Today’s kids seem to be a bit more extreme. They have taking this to a whole new level and it needs to stop. I would say that we first need a strict definition of bullying, just like we do with stalking. If there is an incident in which a student feels he or she was picked on, treat it as such. If a pattern evolves then it is time for the school to take it to the next level. Maybe have a policy similar to the use of tobacco or alcohol to start…kick them out of sports for a couple of weeks. If the behavior continues take it to the next step, suspension. If it continues further no more activities and a restricted school day. If your not in class, you are in daytime detention. It’s where you take your lunch and do your homework. And no more transportation to school, parents have to drive you or you walk. Then let the student earn their way back through education and learning to respect others (not agree with them, simple respect). There should be no transfer of either student. Force them to knock it off or be very restricted. No student should be fearful of getting an education.

  • Kevin

    PACER Center was created by parents of children and youth with disabilities……..I would love to know where these morons get their facts….

  • anti bachmann

    if a kid is getting bullied then get a group of friends together and beat the s**t out of these losers and they will probably leave them alone cause they will realise they are losers

  • Richard in Minneapolis

    “Students Demand Stronger Bullying Laws At The Capitol”

    Why do we need stronger bullying laws at the capitol?

  • Kelsey

    You all seem to be making this a political issue… Whether it’s about being gay or bad parenting. I was bullied in high school and I was tough, I didn’t need to grow a spine but no matter which road you take with handling the matter, the only way it can be stopped is by strict punishment. How does it seem right that someone who “streaks” across the football field at a homecoming game gets suspended, possible charges and banned from prom but threatening someone, saying you’re going to kill this person, physically attacking the individual gets you a 3 day suspension? I know this is the consequence because I did defend myself once and guess what people, I ended up leaving the school because it continued! If you’re writing political statements about this issue then you obviously were not bullied or you did the bullying. I LOVE THIS ARTICLE!

  • Wake up

    Slice it anyway you want, where is the homelife of the kids committing these offensives? They come from all walks of life, parents are sleeping at the wheel.

  • Minneapolis News Stories for Feb 12 2012 : Travel tips, hotels, restaurants, jobs and news | Travel 2 Minneapolis

    […] out onto her deck overlooking Lake Sarah, she realized the screams were coming from the water.Students Demand Stronger Bullying Laws At The CapitolStudents against bullying rallied at the Capitol Saturday, demanding tougher laws against […]

  • Eric the Student

    What is bullying?
    1. Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions.
    2. Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time.
    3. Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength.

    Types of bullying:
    1. Verbal bullying including derogatory comments and bad names
    2. Bullying through social exclusion or isolation
    3. Physical bullying such as hitting, kicking, shoving, and spitting
    4. Bullying through lies and false rumors
    5. Having money or other things taken or damaged by students who bully
    6. Being threatened or being forced to do things by students who bully
    7. Racial bullying
    8. Sexual bullying
    9. Cyber bullying- (Definition: involves the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior)

    Why Students Bully:
    1. Students who bully have strong needs for power and (negative) dominance.
    2. Students who bully find satisfaction in causing injury and suffering to other
    3. Students who bully are often rewarded in some way for their behavior with
    material or psychological rewards.

    Impact of Bullying:
    A single student who bullies can have a wide-ranging impact on the students they bully, students who observe bullying, and the overall climate of the school and community.

    Students Who are Bullied: – Students deserve to feel safe at school. But when they experience bullying, these types of effects can last long into their future:

    1. Depression
    2. Low self-esteem
    3. Health problems
    4. Poor grades
    5. Suicidal thoughts

    Students Who Bully Others – Students who intentionally bully others should be held accountable for their actions. Those who bully their peers are also more likely than those students who do not bully others to *:

    1. Get into frequent fights
    2. Steal and vandalize property
    3. Drink alcohol and smoke
    4. Report poor grades
    5. Perceive a negative climate at school
    6. Carry a weapon

    Observers of Bullying – Students who see bullying happen also may feel that they are in an unsafe environment. Effects may include feeling:

    1. Fearful
    2. Powerless to act
    3. Guilty for not acting
    4. Tempted to participate

    Schools with Bullying Issues – When bullying continues and a school does not take action, the entire school climate can be affected in the following ways:

    The school develops an environment of fear and disrespect
    1. Students have difficulty learning
    2. Students feel insecure
    3. Students dislike school
    4. Students perceive that teachers and staff have little control and don’t care about them

    Bullying is a Serious Issue:

    Bullying may vary greatly between schools and school districts, but it is very prevalent:

    Statistics show that 23 percent of students in grades 4-6 had been bullied “several times” or more; 20 percent had bullied others (1998 study of 6,500 students in rural South Carolina)
    Statistics show that 17 percent of students in grades 6-10 reported having been bullied “sometimes” or more, with 8 percent being bullied once a week. 19 percent said they had been a bully to others “sometimes” or more. (2001 study of 15,000 U.S. students


  • Tom

    This article explains why stronger anti-bullying laws are crucial.

    Excerpts from article- “Minnesota is ranked dead last among states that have anti-bullying laws on the books according to a study by the U.S. Department of Education. Further, as Gov. Mark Dayton noted last week, Minnesota’s law is also the shortest at just 37 words.”

    “The Department of Education report released on Tuesday found Minnesota’s anti-bullying law among the weakest of the 47 states that have anti-bullying laws.”

    “The report also found Minnesota lacking because while it has an anti-bullying law on the books, it doesn’t actually define bullying.”

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