Minn. Legislature could pass new anti-bullying law in 2013

by Alexi Gusso

State Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, said that he's "reasonably confident" that the Legislature will pass a new anti-bullying law in the 2013 session, Minnesota Public Radio reported

Dibble said that he's currently creating the legislation, which he intends to introduce next year. The legislation will be influenced by recommendations made by a task force Gov. Mark Dayton appointed last year.

Dayton formed the task force to study bullying in the state's schools and make recommendations on how to prevent it. The task force recommends staff training and for lawmakers to find "permanent and ongoing funding mechanisms" to fund prevention efforts. 

The task force also recommends instating a law which clearly defines what bullying is and also clearly defines procedures for how students should bring forth bullying claims. 

Minnesota currently has one of the shortest anti-bullying laws in the nation. At only 37 words, the law requires school districts to enact their own policies, but doesn't contain a list of what those policies must include. 

Dibble has sponsored similar legislation in the past, including a 2009 law that was vetoed by then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty.