A panel of 15 prominent Minnesotans got to work last week on a plan for eliminating bullying, harassment, and intimidation in schools.
Gov. Mark Dayton’s Task Force on the Prevention of School Bullying includes experts in education, mental health, politics, diversity advocacy, and law.
Last year, a national watchdog group gave Minnesota’s bullying law a C-minus. In response, state Attorney General Lori Swanson vowed to strengthen anti-bullying statutes, and Gov. Dayton signed the executive order creating the task force, which was charged with researching the issue, drafting recommendations, and submitting a report to him by Aug. 1.
Task force members noted that bullying prevention is an urgent topic, not just in Minnesota but across the country, in the wake of a spate of bullying-related teenage suicides nationwide.
The issue has had attention from U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., who is sponsoring an anti-bullying measure in Congress. Earlier this month, the Anoka-Hennepin school district settled a widely followed anti-bullying lawsuit with a pledge to make schools safer for all students.
A version of this article appeared in the March 28, 2012 edition of Education Week as Minn. Gov. Appoints Anti-Bullying Panel