Minnesota anti-bullying bill to become law Wednesday - KMSP-TV

Minnesota anti-bullying bill: 7 things you need to know

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Gov. Mark Dayton signs the Safe and Supportive Schools Act into law. Photo by Rob Olson Gov. Mark Dayton signs the Safe and Supportive Schools Act into law. Photo by Rob Olson
Photo by Rob Olson Photo by Rob Olson
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

The Minnesota House has passed an anti-bullying bill early Wednesday morning that Gov. Mark Dayton signed into law on the Capitol steps at 4 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon.

A 69-63 vote on the bill, dubbed the Safe and Supportive Schools Act, came just after midnight, and requires schools to create prevention strategies and train staff on techniques. It also requires schools to better track and investigate bullying cases.

House chief author Rep. Jim Davnie (DFL-Minneapolis) says Minnesota's success hinges on the success of Minnesota's kids. 

"The bullying often doesn't happen in front of teachers—instead it happens in the playground, on the bus, in the hallway and in the cafeteria," Rep. Davnie said. "Training all school staff is a key to prevent bullying and to build school climates that are safe and supportive for all students."

The Senate passed the bill by a 5-vote margin on April 3.

WHAT DOES THE BILL DO?

- Requiring the state's commissioner of education to design a model policy for school districts that will not infringe on the free speech or religious rights of students

- Provide a more comprehensive definition of bullying, cyber-bullying, prohibited conduct and intimidation

- Require districts to develop and maintain local bullying prevention policies

- Set minimum standards for local policies

- Extend anti-bullying policies to extracurricular activities at public schools

- Require strategies for creating positive school environments

- Establish the School Climate Council and School Climate Center to assist with implementation

Private and home schools are exempt from complying with the bill, but charter schools will need to follow the requirements outlined in the bill, and private schools will be encouraged to share their anti-bullying policies and incident summaries.

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