One student who addressed the crowd, Laresa Avent, spoke of her own experiences being bullied. She said:
Duluth senior Elise Coffin echoed the call, saying:
“This bill needs to be passed because we can’t afford to have kids across our state continue to show up to school in fear,” she said. “We need to stand up for respect. We need to stand up for equality and we need to stand up for what’s right and pass this bill.”
The legislature will start considering the bill this week, and Governor Dayton has said he supports the bill and its goal.
The nearly 500 students who rallied at the Capitol Monday say the bill is essential for improving their education. The students also echoed the need for improved resources for bullying.
The bill provides a sample bullying statute for districts to implement if they don’t already have one in place. It also highlights needed resources for school districts to get the guidance they need to implement improved bullying practices, such as trainings for teachers and students.
All in all, this bill provides schools with the tools they need to properly address and, hopefully one day, eliminate bullying in schools so every student can get the education they need to succeed in Minnesota.
The 500 students who rallied at the Capitol, plus thousands more supporters across the state, are asking us to do what’s fair, proactive and right for our schools to do better.