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s.t.a.r.t. Student Shalako Bradley on Esteemed Panel

February 23, 2013

s.t.a.r.t. Student Shalako Bradley on Esteemed Panel

A shout out to s.t.a.r.t.’s Shalako Bradley who joined changemakers Sarah Thames (PACER), Nick McMonigle (Student Leaders Creating Change), Alec Fischer (MN Nice Filmmaker) and Kyrstin Shuette (plaintiff in Anoka-Hennepin lawsuit) on a panel at the Safe Schools for All Summit on February 18th at the State Capitol. The students are bringing attention to the Safe & Supportive Schools Act, a comprehensive anti-bullying bill, that will soon be introduced into the state legislature.

The bill will require every school district to establish a policy that includes the following:
-clear enumeration of bullying, harassment and intimidation;
-enumerated protections for students who are most likely to be harassed because of their actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, disability, sex, age, national origin, immigration status, marital status, family status, socio-economic status, physical appearance, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression;
-TRAINING AND RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS, STAFF, AND SCHOOL VOLUNTEERS ON BULLYING PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION;
-Specific procedures that school staff must following when bullying incidents are reported, including the use of remedial responses that emphasize restorative justice to correct prohibited behavior.

A 2011 report from the U.S. Department of Education rated Minnesota’s anti-bullying law the weakest in the nation. Current Minnesota law requires school districts to have a policy against bullying, but it doesn’t specify what the policy should say or who should be protected. It doesn’t require staff development for educators or learning activities for students on bullying prevention or intervention. And it doesn’t address what should be done to help students who engage in bullying to examine their attitudes and change their behavior.

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