Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Legislature is considering proposed upgrade to vague state statutes.
Tuesday afternoon, Minnesota state senators and advocates gathered at the State Capitol to hear details of a proposed new anti-bullying law that would beef up the state's vague bullying laws. The bill, written by Southwest Minneapolis' Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-61) and Rep. Jim Davnie (DFL-63A) would require the state Department of Education to track and publish bullying data alongside the academic data it already collects. The bill would also require individual districts to have anti-bullying policies that protect students based on disability and sexual orientation, among others—current law only covers bullying based on sex, race, and religion. The bill includes religious and free speech protections and offers districts training resources …
Thursday, October 25, 2012
A remastered classic, Edina-based documentary and a look at a Canadian Indian reservation made the cut for this year's festival.
Local film aficionados are in for a treat this week, as the second annual Edina Film Festival runs Oct. 25-27 at 50th & France's historic Edina Cinema. Coming off the success of 2011's maiden voyage, this year's Film Festival is a three-day event designed as a fundraiser for the Edina Art Center. John Swon, chair of the Art Center Board's Film Festival Committee, said this year's slate of films includes everything from powerful documentaries to snappy shorts to golden oldies. "We were very fortunate to have such a variety of films showcasing local filmmakers, including students," Swon said. "We hope this event will become Edina’s newest tradition as it continues to grow." A documentary film about high school bullying called "Minnesota Nice…
Thursday, March 22, 2012
A Prevention of School Bullying task force is studying bullying in Minnesota, but can new policies and laws help prevent the problem?
When I was in junior high more than 20 years ago, bullying existed. I remember two girls in my seventh grade junior high choir class – and yes, I can still picture their faces and remember their names – which routinely made it their mission in life to pick on others. I, like many others, just tried to avoid these two girls as much as possible – which didn’t always work. Fast-forward more than 20 years and it doesn’t seem like a lot has changed. We still hear stories of bullying incidents time and time again. I do think some schools are being more proactive in telling students and parents what to do about bullying incidents. But, I don’t know if the culture has changed much in some schools. There are still circumstances where some schools …
Monday, December 19, 2011
Jessi Tebben worked to stop bullying and support students, staff and the children of LGBT families.
The architect of a landmark bullying-prevention measure in the Minneapolis Public Schools is stepping down. Jessi Tebben will leave her post on Jan. 13, 2012, as the coordinator of the district’s Out4Good office so she can care for her four newly adopted children. “This was truly a tough decision to make,” Tebben said in an email to friends and supporters. “I wish very much that I could balance both of these roles, but these amazing kids have been courageous enough to trust my partner and I, and we have decided that their trust and love deserve the commitment of one full-time parent.” In an interview with Patch, Tebben said she was extremely proud of helping shape a package of LGBT-rights and anti-bullying measures passed by the board in …
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
It can be a fine line between pulling a prank and being a bully. How should parents address this?
This Friday is every practical jokester’s national holiday — April Fools’ Day. Most April Fools’ pranks are fun and harmless, meant to elicit a good laugh but not hurt feelings. However, explaining the difference between a harmless prank and hurtful bullying to a child can be difficult. And it’s especially important, given the deep impact bullying can have. An estimated 20 percent of American youth in grades 9-12 reported being bullied on school property in a 2009 survey. For many of the victims, the bullying occurs frequently and viciously, as noted by this Connecticut teenager who took to YouTube. In the worst of instances, bullying can lead to unthinkable tragedies. So how does a parent address the difference between pulling a prank and…
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
A bill that passed both the Senate and House in 2009 faces a hard road in the Republican-controlled legislature.
State Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis) re-introduced an anti-bullying bill Monday, despite little hope it will pass the Republican-dominated legislature. A compromise version passed with bipartisan support in 2009—the Senate approved it by 46-8, while the House passed it 95-39—only to be struck down by Gov. Tim Pawlenty's veto. While a Democrat now sits in the governor's office, both houses of the state legislature were captured by Republicans in the 2010 election. The issue of bullying attracted much attention following a spate of suicides by gay teens across the country, including in Minnesota. As Dibble looked for co-authors for the bill this session, he was turned down by three separate Republican colleagues, all of whom formerly …
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Area mothers gathered Monday with Patch editors to talk about key parenting issues.
- THE NEIGHBORHOOD FILES
- Patch Staff
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
On Monday, Patch held its first ever “Moms Council” meeting, bringing together four mothers from the area to discuss important parenting issues. The goal of the council will be to explore topics of interest to moms — and dads — everywhere, then produce informative features for Patch readers, like you. Below, we introduce the Moms Council and give a glimpse into what was discussed at the first meeting. If you’re interested in joining the council, please say so in the comments section below, or send an e-mail to your local Patch editor. Meet Patch’s West Metro Moms Council Christina Barberot is a fairly new transplant to the area, originally hailing from the Washington, D.C. area. She and her husband live in St. Louis Park with their two …
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
It will provide district-wide tracking of anti-LGBT harassment.
The Minneapolis Board of Education made history last night, in a couple different areas. The board swore-in Hussein Samatar, the first Somali-American elected to office in Minnesota. But it also took a little-noticed step towards ensuring equality for the district’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students in an anti-bullying resolution. By a unanimous voice vote before the swearing-in of the five new board members, the board passed a resolution instructing district administrators to develop a district-wide system for tracking incidents of anti-LGBT harassment. Also included in the resolution were a number of other requirements: Chris Stewart, the outgoing board member who initially proposed the resolution this past December, …
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The school district counters bullying—an issue that gained prominence with the suicides of a number of gay teens across the country—through a combination of teacher intervention and peer support.
Despite progressive anti-bullying policies in the Minneapolis school district, much of the hard work of opposing bullying—especially of gay and lesbian students—falls to classmates. Southwest High School's 'once is enough' policy The district has been training every teacher to serve as a first line of defense against bullying since 2003, according to the district's in-house gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocate, Jessi Tebben. If a building has a recurring bullying problem, Tebben's office—called Out4Good—gets called in to help. The specific policies don't prevent bullying outright as much as they help teachers and administrators focus on curing the bullying problem, Tebben said. Once the current policies were put in place, …
Monday, November 29, 2010
A leading LGBT advocate in the state Senate thinks a law to help prevent bullying against gay students will again face challenges this year.
Earlier this year, a string of high-profile, bullying-driven suicides shocked much of the nation and the media, but not state Senator Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis). The issue of bullying is one that Dibble has struggled with most of his life, and which he champions at the state legislature—despite lengthening odds that his anti-bullying measures will pass the Republican-dominated body. "I can't say there was a moment that really crystalized it for me," Dibble said in a telephone interview from his Southwest Minneapolis home. "This was my life growing up gay." Before being elected to the State Senate in 2001, Dibble was an activist in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, working on, among other issues, bullying …