The Minnesota House voted early Wednesday to pass a bill aimed at strengthening the state’s anti-bullying law, sending the measure to Gov. Mark Dayton to sign. After nearly 12 hours of debate, the House passed the bill on a 69-63 vote that fell mostly along party lines.
Revised legislation that protects students against bullies has the support of a key Senate committee in Minnesota. The anti-bullying bill packed a Senate Education Committee Tuesday during a five-hour hearing. The bill eventually passed the committee and is headed to the Senate Finance Committee.
Those for and against an anti-bullying bill gave emotional and passionate testimony Tuesday at the Senate Education Hearing at the State Capitol. Critics say language in the bill which protects specific group, including gays, threatens religious freedom. But supporters say the bill protects all students. Two-hundred people waited in line to get into the hearing. Many, like the Ross family of Forest Lake, were forced to watch in an overflow room. They support the bill because sixth-grader Jake Ross was bullied while in second grade.
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 Minnesota House has passed a bill requiring all public school districts to create policies aimed at reducing bullying. The bill passed Monday by a vote of 72-57. It was introduced after a rash of high-profile bullying incidents in school districts across the state.
Some Minnesota Catholic schools are now urging parents not to support an anti-bullying bill at the State Capitol, concerned over the cost of it, and the bill’s apparent lack of input from private schools.