MN Senators Move Safe Schools Bill Forward!

Minnesota Safe Schools for All One-Sheet

Want more details about the Minnesota Safe Schools for All Bill?
Want to download an easy-to-read document that you can email and
print to share with friends? Click here to access the new Minnesota Safe
Schools for All” one-sheet we’ve put together to help you spread
the message about the importance of this bill with your family and

Moving Op-Ed by Bullied Student
The Minneapolis Star Tribune published a moving op-ed today by Andy Berlin, a high
school student who testified before the Senate Education Committee
last week about his experience being bullied in school. Andy wants
the Minnesota Legislature to pass the Safe Schools for All Bill, so
he and other students can focus on learning, not their personal

Great news! We’ve just issued the following press release with our
partners at OutFront Minnesota. The MN Senate Education Committee
passed the Safe Schools for All Bill this morning. Now we go to the
MN House for action on the bill. Stay tuned for updates as more
details emerge!


Tuesday, March 24,



Jo Marsicano,
Communications Director, OutFront Minnesota,
612-822-0127 ext. 106

Dustin Kight, Communications
Manager, Family Equality
, 617-502-8700 x228,


Education Committee Passes
Schools for All Bill

Leading safe schools
advocates respond


Joint statement
of Monica Meyer, Public Policy Director, OutFront Minnesota
and Kara Suffredini, Public Policy Director, Family Equality


, MN

The Minnesota
Senate Education Committee passed
today Senate File 971, the “Minnesota Safe Schools for All Bill.”
SF 971 was developed to respond to the problems of bullying and
harassment in schools, which are not currently being addressed.
Statistics show that 90% of LGBT students face harassment, yet 93%
of schools don’t include sexual orientation or gender identity
and expression in their anti-harassment policies.


Family Equality Council and
OutFront Minnesota are working with legislators to ensure safe
schools for all Minnesota students and families. This bill will
strengthen existing bullying and harassment laws by aligning school
district policies with the Minnesota Human Rights Act, which
protects against discrimination based on race, color, creed,
religion, national origin, sex, marital status, disability,
socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity or
expression, and age.


The bill adds “physical
characteristics,” such as size, as a protected category, as well as
an “association with” provision that protects, in particular, the
children of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender parents.
Currently, 93% of Minnesota school districts provide no protections
for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students or children of
LGBT parents, even though 90 percent of LGBT students in Minnesota
and 40 percent of children of LGBT parents nationally reported
being verbally harassed at school.


The committee
testimony from students who described their painful experiences of
being harassed, bullied, and even physically attacked. Strong
testimony was also given by bill author State Senator Scott Dibble,
Education Minnesota (the state’s largest teachers union), and
representatives of Family
Equality Council
‘s St. Paul Office and OutFront Minnesota. The bill’s
companion in the House
, HF 1198,
awaits a hearing.


Statement of Monica Meyer,
Public Policy Director, OutFront

“We applaud the
committee for taking this positive step for students. Minnesotans
want their schools to be a place of learning, not fear and
intimidation. This policy would give schools an important tool to
establish the most conducive atmosphere for learning. The bill
addresses the very real prevalence of bullying and harassment in
our schools, especially against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and
transgender students. We are grateful that the committee sees the
wisdom of this legislation.”


of Kara Suffredini, Public Policy Director, Family Equality

“For the last several years,
our Minnesota staff has investigated the effectiveness of safe
schools policies in the state, rightly concluding that Minnesota’s
current policies do not keep students safe. Today’s vote recognizes
the need to clarify state law and support students, parents and
educators in keeping all students safe. We thank the
committee for their thoughtful consideration, and look forward to
working with other senators and representatives to pass this bill
this session.”

About OutFront

OutFront Minnesota’s mission is to
make our state a place where GLBT Minnesotans have the freedom,
power, and confidence to make the best choices for their own lives.
Leading Minnesota Toward GLBT Equality. Celebrating our
22nd year.


About the Family Equality

The Family Equality Council works
to ensure equality for LGBT families by building community,
changing hearts and minds, and advancing social justice for all
families. The Family Equality Council’s Midwest Office is located
in St. Paul, Minnesota. For more information visit