Gov. Dayton wants to strengthen law on bullying

Bullying prevention task force
Gov. Mark Dayton, center, in a meeting with the Task Force for the Prevention of School Bullying, discusses some of the group's findings Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012 at the State Capitol in St. Paul.
MPR Photo/Jennifer Simonson

Gov. Mark Dayton said today he wants to strengthen Minnesota's law on bullying.

The governor met with a state task force that has issued a report calling the current bullying law ineffective.

The state's 37-word statute only requires school districts to have a bullying policy, but does not provide guidance on what it should contain.

Task force members told the governor the law needs to clearly ban bullying, harassment and intimidation. They also said it should require training for school personnel.

Dayton welcomed the recommendations. He said education budget cuts have contributed to the problem, and that he will consider ways to finance some of the recommended measures.

"It's forced school districts unwillingly, but they've had no choice, to cut back on things like guidance counselors and social workers and support for just these kinds of situations," Dayton said. "We've got to make sure we're serious about this."

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