Byron District Reacts to Bullying Bill Law

Updated: 04/09/2014 5:20 PM
Created: 04/09/2014 4:40 PM
By: Sean Boswell

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- After months of debate and revisions, the Safe and Supportive Schools Act will be implemented. The law will strengthen Minnesota’s current policy on bullying within schools.

"We'll certainly adjust and do what we need to do moving forward," said Byron Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Elstad.

Elstad says he isn't sure yet how much impact the bill will have on his district.

"I'm sure it will require us to do more documentation and that raises concern with us," said Elstad.

Elstad says the district already documents every bullying or harassment allegation reported to them.

"We're in a place where kids are trying to find their way and learn ways to interact with others and sometimes they choose to do it in appropriate ways and other times it's not appropriate," said Elstad.

The new law would require schools to develop a comprehensive anti-bullying policy, investigate all allegations in a timely manner and train staff to prevent bullying.

"We will investigate fully by interviewing students individually, and then we determine if there's an admission that something went on there that shouldn't have," said Elstad.

Elstad says consequences are given and determined by the nature of the offense. He says some offenses may even lead to expulsion.

“This is a community effort. It shouldn't just rest within the school system; this really has to be parents and schools working together to do what's best for our kids," said Elstad.

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