According to the Associated Press (AP) in The Sacramento Bee, a Minnesota task force, called “The Prevention of School Bullying Task Force” is urging state lawmakers to toughen up a state law on bullying, harassment, and intimidation in schools. In a report given to Governor Mark Dayton, who convened the 15-member group last year, the task force recommended that the state legislature repeal the state’s current anti-bullying law, and replace it with a stronger law. Minnesota is considered to have one of the nation’s weakest anti-bullying laws.
The report also recommends standard anti-bullying protections for all schools and urges the state to collect more information on bullying and create a clearinghouse for anti-bullying efforts. The group wants lawmakers and school districts to provide funding to implement the plan. Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey says bullying cannot be tolerated “in any form in our schools.”
Source: The Sacramento Bee, 08/01/12, By The AP
[Editor's Note: On August 1, 2012, the Minnesota Department of Education published a statement from Julie Hertzog and Walter Roberts, Co-Chairs of the Governor's task force, about the report and its recommendations, which in part read:
"It was an honor to lead such an important effort on behalf of Minnesota youth. We thank our fellow Task Force Members for their extraordinary of time and expertise, and Governor Dayton for his leadership and foresight in establishing this Task Force. We especially want to thank every Minnesotan who showed up at a listening session or a public meeting - especially the young people who shared their compelling stories."
In July 2012, Legal Clips summarized an article reported on democratandchronicle.com, which reported that Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law designed to toughen enforcement against cyberbullying. The measure focuses on bullying through computers and mobile devices, and requires schools to draft policies for responding to cyberbullying regardless of whether it takes place on school property.
In February 2012, Legal Clips reported on a similar proposal in the Indiana State Legislature at that time, which would allow schools to punish off-campus behavior such as cyberbullying and cheating.]