Minnesota Governor Issues Anti-Bullying Executive Order

Today Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (DFL) issued an executive order creating a task force to address bullying in the state’s schools, calling on lawmakers to abandon party lines and imploring Minnesotans to “treat each other with dignity and respect.” Minnesota’s largest school district, Anoka-Hennepin, has had a particularly disturbing spate of suicides and earned much criticism for its faulty “neutrality” policy, which prevents teachers from talking about LGBT issues, even as students are being bullied for being gay. Tammy Aaberg, whose son Justin committed suicide last year after being taunted for being gay, has called for a new law enumerating protections for LGBT students as several other states have done. State Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL) showed his support for such a bill, but said he is “dubious about the opportunity for passage of a bill that’s meaningful in this coming legislative session.”