A bill that would have strengthened efforts to combat bullying in Minnesota’s schools will not become law this year. Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, says Senate Democrats pulled the bill Sunday night after Republicans planned to debate it for 10 hours. He said it’s a failure that Republicans aren’t responding to what teachers and kids are telling them about bullying.
“Republican after Republican got up and said ‘I talked to superintendents and they say things are just fine in our schools,” Dibble said. “Not one of them talked about talking to kids themselves. Well, I talked to literally hundreds of kids and they tell us things are not fine in their schools.”
Republicans said they had deep concerns about the bill including the cost to school districts. Republican Senate Minority Leader David Hann of Eden Prairie said that issue and others needed to be addressed.
“We were in the middle of debate on bullying that our members and many people in the state frankly don’t think is needed and we don’t like,” Hann said. “We wanted to keep debating that provision. We’re getting down to the end of session and there’s other things that we need to do.”
The House passed the anti-bullying bill a few weeks ago. It would have required districts to come up with policies to prevent bullying and investigate complaints of bullying in schools.