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Safe and Supportive Schools Act is good for kids

Tuesday night, after almost 12 hours of debate, the Minnesota House passed the Safe and Supportive Schools Act. I support this bill becoming law, and I support the people who voted for it, because our schools should be places where kids feel safe; this bill gets us one step closer to making that a reality.

I am a mom, and I was also bullied as a child. When my son reported that there was bullying happening to his peers, we were able to sit down with faculty at the school and address the issues. Morris is a community that embraces diversity, difference of opinion, and open discourse. Unfortunately, not all communities are like Morris.

This bill takes a 37 word clause, and turns it into a meaningful bill that gives local control to every school community in Minnesota. Using the minimum expectation that no bullying is acceptable at school for any reason, school boards can create their own anti-bullying policy, or keep a policy that already works well for their community.

I’m thankful that Rep. Jay McNamar voted for this bill, taking a stand for my kids, even while being bullied to vote against it. I’m proud that our community has been leading on this issue, with support from the school staff, counselor, and administrators. Mostly, I’m proud that Minnesota is finally putting an end to a sad chapter in our state’s history, where kids (and parents) had no real expectation that they would feel safe at school.