Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said Wednesday that Minnesota’s bullying law needs a definition of bullying and more accountability.
In an interview with MPR News, Cassellius elaborated on a statement she issued Tuesday in response to an MPR News investigation into bullying policies. That investigation found Minnesota’s weak state law is silent in many areas where researchers say a clear state voice is needed.
Her full statement to MPR is as follows:
This is an important conversation. The safety and well-being of our students must always be our highest priority. Every school should provide a supportive and welcoming environment that supports student success and learning.
I will continue to engage in conversations with students, teachers, principals, superintendents and parents to help facilitate a change in the way we think about bullying and the risks it poses to children. I am also prepared to pursue a change in Minnesota’s anti-bullying law that will substantially strengthen the existing language.
Further, I will continue to oppose funding cuts to the Department of Education that undermine our ability to provide technical support and assistance to schools that are working to prevent bullying. Every adult who cares about s tudent success should be working together to make sure every child feels safe, supported and ready to learn when they walk through the school door.