Speaker: Anti-bullying bill would be ineffective, costly

Published 10:31 am Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lead spokesperson for the Minnesota Child Protection League Barb Anderson said Tuesday that the anti-bullying bill is unfair, unsafe and unfunded.

Anderson spoke against the legislation to a crowd of 15 at Southwest Middle School Tuesday night.

Minnesota legislators are expected to take action to replace the state’s current anti-bullying law. The proposed law would require schools to investigate cases of bullying and train teachers to spot and prevent bullying.

The Minnesota House passed an anti-bullying bill last year, but it didn’t make it through the state Senate before the session ended.

Gov. Mark Dayton’s Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Prevention of Bullying Task Force Report describes the provisions in the bill. Anderson said the bill could cost schools upwards of $19.5 million.

The legislation also would take up teacher time and turn students against each other, Anderson said.

“The language in the report defines bullying as anything that causes emotional distress,” Anderson said. “That means that students can turn in each other for what is hearsay.”

Anderson said the report includes language that opens the door to emotionally damaging, sexually explicit curriculum for all school-age children regarding human sexuality.

“It uses welcoming words like inclusive, but in reality is really just a bully in disguise,” Anderson.

The task force report said strategies include changing the “values, attitudes and behaviors” of children by teaching them “the nature of human sexuality.”

The report says “values and attitudes about human sexuality will be transformed by means of inclusive curriculum.”

Anderson said the languages means schools will be required to teach about and including all sexual lifestyles in every classroom subject.

Anderson said exposure to the sexual content in inclusive curriculum poses a health risk to students with developing minds. She cited Dr. Victor Cline, a psychologist, who said sexually graphic images viewed by a child will confuse and damage children.

Anderson said under the legislation public schools will become transformation stations where children will enter with one set of family values and beliefs, and exit with another. In the process, academic instruction will be sacrificed.

“We are opposed to bullying of any kind against anyone for any reason. We want to protect all children equally,” Anderson said.

The legislative session began Tuesday.