May 10 2013
The Minnesota House has passed a bill requiring all public school districts to create policies aimed at reducing bullying. The Senate has not yet voted on the anti-bullying bill. (Make sure you tell them to vote NO if you live in Minnesotastan)
Star Tribune The House passed the bill on Monday by a vote of 72-57. It defines bullying, and includes a list of characteristics that are often grounds for bullying. It requires training for teachers and school officials and compels them to report cases of bullying. Schools that don’t implement an anti-bullying policy could lose state aid.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jim Davnie of Minneapolis, says a “checkerboard” of different policies between schools leaves some students vulnerable to bullies. Republicans say such policies should be set by local school boards and could place students at risk of being considered bullies for expressing religious views.
CAIR-Minnesotastan Executive Director Lori Saroya testified before the House Education Policy Committee in support of the bill and shared a CAIR-MN case involving a Somali Muslim student who was bullied and harassed in high school:
“[The student] was physically and verbally attacked. She was called a “towel head” and other religious and racial slurs; she saw students spraying air freshener when Muslim students walked into class; a student told her that he would kill her because she is Somali; her religious headscarf was pulled off; her teacher made disparaging comments about Islam and Muslims in class; when she wore a white headscarf, students threw markers at it.”