Several lawmakers are working to curb school bullying after they heard emotional testimony from a parent whose son committed suicide.
The proposal would require districts to implement a bullying policy and plan, and deal with bullying issues at school, on buses and online.
We think it’s about time.
Many pieces of the bill stemmed from Gov. Mark Dayton’s bullying task force recommendations. Those included staff development and training and involving students, parents and the community in anti-bullying discussions.
The bill also included provisions that included training for staff so they will be better informed when tackling issues involving bullying.
The bill also requires schools to address cyberbullying issues that do not happen at school if they cause a significant disruption.
The bill also focuses on support for students who are bullied and who bully.
Park Rapids Century School had an excellent program last week addressing bullying and ways to prevent and stop it in certain situations. Century School students learned about bullying and ways to combat it through performances by CLIMB Theatre.
According to the CLIMB Theatre actors, in bullying situations, there are almost always three types of students: the perpetrator, the target, and the bystanders (students who watch and may do nothing). In one study, bystanders who do intervene stop bullying 57 percent of the time in less than 10 seconds. The play showed students ways to intervene.
The program was good for students to see. This isn’t the only answer, though.
A bill that included training for staff and support for students could further help schools address issues of bullying.
PARK RAPIDS ENTERPRISE