Saint Paul, Minn. – One of the most widely-debated bills of this legislative session, the Safe and Supportive Schools Act passed the Senate with a vote of 36 to 31. Senator Susan Kent (DFL-Woodbury) has championed the bill since its inception and celebrated the victory as a major step forward for Minnesota students.
“Today we made strides in ensuring the protection and well-being of children across Minnesota,” said Sen. Kent. “Too often, we’ve heard troubling stories about the bullying our kids have endured and how it was not properly addressed. The Safe and Supportive Schools Act not only addresses bullying; it seeks to prevent it and keep our kids safe.”
Before the passage of this legislation, Minnesota’s anti-bullying policy was deemed “weakest in the nation” by the U.S. Department of Education, as it contained only 37 words and did not define bullying. The Safe and Supportive Schools Act has changed that, as it defines bullying, states that all students are protected under the legislation, and encourages school districts to provide appropriate support for students dealing with bullying. Parental notification, a component of the bill that raised concern among many, was especially important to Sen. Kent, who believes that transparency and communication between parents and teachers is essential.
“As the mother of a Minnesota student, it’s reassuring to know that should an incident occur, my son will be safe and I will be notified,” Sen. Kent ended. “As a legislator, I am proud to have worked so hard toward something that will benefit kids across the state by preventing and properly addressing an issue as significant as bullying. I am so grateful for all of those who have supported this bill throughout the legislative process.”