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Controversial DVD Argues Against Anti-Bullying Bill

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – UPDATED at 7:25 p.m. A controversial DVD delivered to Minnesota lawmakers is raising eyebrows at the Capitol.

It’s a 27-minute video making the case against an anti-bullying bill from a group called the Minnesota Child Protection League.

The league makes a detailed case against the bullying bill, calling it a manufactured “crisis,” claiming that children and parents won’t be allowed to express their own personal values or religious beliefs and could face state-sponsored “re-education.”

“A new set of values, attitudes and behavior will replace their own religious, cultural or family values– or else,” the group states in the video.

The video includes cartoon-drawn images from an explicitly written book about sexuality including drawings of children in a sexual context.

It says the anti-bullying bill may cause similar lessons to be taught in Minnesota schools.

“That’s just patently false. Far-fetched. I don’t even know where they get this stuff,” said the bill author, Sen. Scott Dibble (D-Minneapolis).

Dibble said the anti-bullying bill is a statewide effort to change bullying behavior in Minnesota schools, and the culture of bullying.

But he said it does not do what the Minnesota Child Protection League purports.

“It has to be based on evidence…research that has proven, positive effects. There is nothing like that in the research that supports a claim like that. So I don’t know where this is coming from,” said Dibble.

The group making the DVD said the claims it makes are coming directly from the governor’s task force report on bullying.

“That there is so much opposition to this bill should make people pause and ask: why?” said Michele Lentz, executive director of the Minnesota Child Protection League.

“We universally in Minnesota –every one of us– oppose bullying,” said Lentz. “We care about children and we want all children to be protected. Period. But we don’t believe this bill will stop or prevent bullying.”

The league has set up a website, mnchildprotectionleague.com, to pressure lawmakers to vote against the bill.

And on the DVD to lawmakers, it argues that Minnesota already has laws sufficient to protect students.

“This bill seeks to re-educate and impose a radical set of diversity and social values on our children,” the group states in the video.

Dibble said the league has mounted a campaign of misinformation before lawmakers vote on the anti-bullying measure.

“Every claim I have seen them make is absolutely false,” he said. “If you were to pivot 180 degrees from their claims, that is where you would find the truth.”

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