MREA strongly agrees that schools should provide a safe and welcoming environment that is conducive for learning for each student. MREA reviewed the report from the Governor’s Bullying Prevention Task Force and identifies these key issues to be considered:
- Retraining of veteran staff. Should all teachers facing re-licensure be required to earn a certificate or licensure tag indicating they have completed a training component on bullying, harassment and intimidation similar to how mental health certification is currently required?
- Clarity in definition and reporting requirements. How will bullying be defined? Can MDE build bullying reporting into existing reporting on student discipline and not unduly increase paperwork requirements?
- Setting policies. How often will districts have to review their bullying policies and what, if any, discretion will they have in developing these policies?
- Funding for these new requirements. What support will MDE provide, and is there capacity for regional implementation? What role does the Safe Schools Levy play?
Every student deserves to attend a school that is safe and caring. To meet this goal, Governor Dayton established a Task Force on the Prevention of School Bullying by Executive Order. The Task Force examined best practices and policies to inform the group’s recommendations to the Governor and Legislature.