Students lead charge against bullying in schoolsby Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Several student-led events against bullying are taking place this week across Minnesota.
One such event called "Stand Up, Speak Out" was hosted Tuesday night at the Blake School in Minneapolis.
DFL State Senator Scott Dibble, Dist. 60, is encouraged that many such efforts are being led by the students who experience or see bullying in schools, but he says that doesn't excuse adults from addressing the problem.
" We're the ones who take responsiblity for what goes on in our schools," Dibble said. "I think the kids are showing the way, and it's incumbent upon us to follow their lead. Otherwise, we're just abdicating our role."
Dibble is sponsoring legislation to bolster Minnesota's anti-bullying law, currently one of the weakest in the nation.
One version of that measure was vetoed in 2009 by then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Another was voted down this spring by the Republican-led state Senate.
Minneapolis South High School senior Camille Koosmann believes her school addresses bullying pretty well, but also that it's important for even those schools to stay focused.
"It's really important that schools that are doing better show support to schools that need help, or really to just band together," Koosman said. "Because it's not a small community thing. Everybody needs to band together and deal with it."
The Minnesota-based PACER center, which advocates on behalf of kids with disabilities, encourages students to wear orange Wednesday in support of students who are bullied, in an event called 'Unity Day."