MN Governor Orders Panel To Squash School Bullying. Wishful Thinking?

When it comes to students getting bullied to death, the Anoka-Hennepin School District is number one in Minnesota. The school’s “neutrality policy” on LGBT issues forbid teachers from speaking out against LGBT bullying, and their seven student suicides over the last two years have made them the focus of a federal investigation and lawsuits.

But Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has had enough of their lethal reputation and recently issued an executive order asking a 15-person bipartisan panel to study they “best practices, existing laws, and reports of bullying in schools” so the state can define bullying and provide recommendations for anti-bullying policy initiatives by next August.

Allowing teachers to openly discuss anti-LGBT bullying in schools would be a good first step. A law explicitly protecting LGBT students would make a great final step, especially if Dayton can provide some cash and training so teachers learn how to effectively handle both bullies and potential suicide victims.

Otherwise, Anoka-Hennepin will go down in history as the one of the deadliest school districts in the nation—an honor no district would want.

Image via Mark Dayton

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