Note: The following has been adapted from a media release from the Minnesota Safe Schools for All Coalition.
Recently, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis called on Catholic educators and parents to contact their legislators and urge them to oppose anti-bullying legislation known as the Safe & Supportive Minnesota Schools Act (HF 826/SF 783). This legislation will ensure that all schools have clear, strong policies against bullying, as well as the training and resources needed to keep kids safe. The bill enumerates protections for students who are most likely to be targeted based on certain characteristics like disability, national origin, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation. The requirements in the bill would apply to Minnesota students in both public and private schools.
The Minnesota Catholic Conference wants private religious schools to be exempt from the requirements in the bill. To read more about the MCC's rationale for opposing the Safe & Supportive Minnesota Schools Act, click here.
Legislators are already receiving calls from constituents who oppose the bill. We need to make sure that they hear from supporters of the bill as soon as possible. Click here for background on the bill and talking points that have been compiled by the Minnesota Safe Schools for All Coalition.
Please take a moment to call or email your legislators and urge them to support the Safe & Supportive Minnesota Schools Act. If you’re not sure who represents you, find out by clicking here.
In-person visits at the Capitol or in your district are even more helpful and strategic. If you’re willing to meet with your legislators in person, please contact OutFront MN's Associate Policy Director, Nicque Mabrey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 763-291-0261. She can help set up the appointment for you and answer any questions you have about the bill.
Parents, educators, and people of faith are especially encouraged to meet with your legislators to share why this issue matters to you.
Minnesota currently has the weakest anti-bullying law in the nation. The Safe & Supportive Minnesota Schools Act will change that. But it’s important to act now. All students deserve an education that is safe and equitable, whether they go to a public or private school.
Please make it a priority to contact your legislators and share with them your experiences, values, and perspectives when it comes to school safety for all.
Related Off-site Link:
GSAs and the Catholic High School Setting – Michael Bayly (The Wild Reed, February 6, 2013).