What are the Minnesota state laws and regulations that cover bullying?
- Minnesota Statutes §120B.22. Violence prevention education
- Minnesota Statutes §121A.03. Model policy
- Minnesota Statutes §121A.031. School student bullying policy
- Minnesota Statutes §121A.0311. Notice of the rights and responsibilities of students and parents under the Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act
- Minnesota Statutes §121A.69. Hazing policy
- Minnesota Statutes §122A.60. Staff development program
- Minnesota Statues §124D.231. Full-service community schools
- Minnesota Statues §125B.15. Internet access for students
- Minnesota Statutes §127A.051. School Safety Technical Assistance Council
- Minnesota Statutes §127A.052. School Safety Technical Assistance Center
How are bullying and cyberbullying defined in Minnesota anti-bullying laws and regulations?
Minnesota anti-bullying laws include the following definitions of bullying and cyberbullying:
“Bullying” means intimidating, threatening, abusive, or harming conduct that is objectively offensive and:
(1) there is an actual or perceived imbalance of power between the student engaging in prohibited conduct and the target of the behavior and the conduct is repeated or forms a pattern; or
(2) materially and substantially interferes with a student’s educational opportunities or performance or ability to participate in school functions or activities or receive school benefits, services, or privileges.
“Cyberbullying” means bullying using technology or other electronic communication, including, but not limited to, a transfer of a sign, signal, writing, image, sound, or data, including a post on a social network Internet Web site or forum, transmitted through a computer, cell phone, or other electronic device.
Minn. Stat. § 121A.031 (2014)
Do Minnesota anti-bullying laws and regulations cover cyberbullying that occurs off-campus?
Yes. Minnesota anti-bullying laws cover off-campus conduct through the use of electronic technology and communications to the extent such use substantially and materially disrupts student learning or the school environment.
What are the policy requirements for schools to prevent and respond to bullying behavior?
Minnesota school districts are required to adopt, implement, review and revise written policies to prevent and prohibit bullying. School district policies must contain key policy and procedural elements, including, but not limited to:
- Definitions of the role and responsibilities of students, school personnel, and volunteers under the policy;
- Lists of characteristics that may be the basis for bullying;
- Requirements for how the policy must by publicized within the district;
- Procedures for reporting and investigations, including designation of a staff member who will serve as the primary contact to receive reports of prohibited conduct;
- Procedures for how schools will respond to incidents of prohibited conduct, including intervening to protect the target of the prohibited conduct and providing other remedial responses to the prohibited conduct;
- Prohibitions against reprisals or retaliation;
- Information about available community resources to the target, actor and other affected individuals; and
- Requirements regarding how the policy will be publicized within the district.
Minnesota state law requires districts to review and revise policies on a cycle consistent with other district policies and must submit an electronic copy of the prohibited conduct policy to the commissioner.
Do Minnesota anti-bullying laws and regulations include protections for specific groups?
Yes. Minnesota anti-bullying laws prohibit any intimidating, threatening, abusive or harming conduct that is directed at any student or students, including those based on a person’s actual or perceived race, ethnicity, color, creed, religion, national origin, immigration status, sex, marital status, familial status, socioeconomic status, physical appearance, sexual orientation, including gender identity and expression, academic status related to student performance, disability, or status with regard to public assistance, age, or any additional characteristic. Prohibited conduct need not be based on any particular characteristic.
Minnesota schools that receive federal funding are required by federal law to address discrimination on a number of different personal characteristics. Find out when bullying may be a civil rights violation.
Do Minnesota anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to implement bullying prevention programs or strategies?
Yes. Minnesota school districts and schools are encouraged to provide developmentally appropriate programmatic instruction to help students identify, prevent, and reduce prohibited conduct, value diversity in school and society, develop and improve students’ knowledge and skills for solving problems, managing conflict, engaging in civil discourse, and recognizing, responding to, and reporting prohibited conduct. School districts and schools must establish strategies for creating a positive school climate and use evidence-based social-emotional learning to prevent and reduce discrimination and improper conduct.
Do Minnesota anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to train teachers and other school staff on how to respond to bullying incidents?
Yes. Minnesota school districts must provide appropriate training for all school personnel to prevent, identity, and respond to prohibited conduct. School districts must establish a training cycle, not to exceed a period of three years.
Do Minnesota anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to provide safeguards or mental health supports for students involved with bullying?
Yes. Minnesota school district policies must provide information about available community resources to the target, actor, or other affected individuals.
Do Minnesota anti-bullying laws and regulations involve parents in efforts to address bullying behavior?
Yes. Minnesota school districts are encouraged to develop policies in consultation with students, parents, and community organizations. School district policies must also include requirements to notify the parent of the reported target and the parent of the actor engaged in the prohibited conduct.
For More Information
The key component framework used in the analysis of state laws is based on the review of legislation presented in the “Analysis of State Bullying Laws and Policies – December 2011” (U.S. Department of Education).
Content last updated on June 20, 2017