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Gov. Mark Dayton signed the Safe and Supportive Schools Act on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol on Wednesday, April 9, 2014. Sponsors of the anti-bullying bill, State Rep. Jim Davnie and State Sen. Scott Dibble are pictured on the right with Boy Scout Jake Ross, 11, left.

Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

Dayton signs tougher antibullying law for Minnesota schools

  • Associated Press
  • April 9, 2014 - 5:33 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. — An anti-bullying law that replaces one some found too weak is now in place.

Gov. Mark Dayton used an outdoor ceremony Wednesday to sign a bill toughening Minnesota's stand against bullying. The bill passed overnight after a protracted House debate.

Supporters say it will provide a safer learning environment for children. Critics argue it will subject more kids to punishment for expressing their religious beliefs or engaging in other youthful behavior.

The bill requires school districts to track and investigate cases of bullying and directs schools to better train staff and teachers on how to prevent it. Current law requires school districts to have a bullying policy but doesn't include details on what the policy should contain.

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