To the Editor:
The author of the April 10 "Too much bullying" letter says: "I believe that family time and families instilling morals within these children would help lessen the amount of bullying occurring in schools." I agree completely. That is why I think state government should stay out of the picture.
Please contact your legislators and tell them NOT to support the "Safe and Supportive Minnesota Act," House file 826 and Senate file 783.
1. This bill is a prime example of what lawyers call "vague and overbroad" legislation, i.e. it prohibits conduct that creates "a real or perceived imbalance of power between students," along with conduct that violates "the reasonable expectation of privacy" of any student. If the courts would have trouble with these standards, how in the world are school administrators going to handle this can of worms?
2. It singles out certain "protected classes" of students-including race, sex, sexual orientation and "gender identity and expression" - for favored treatment. The traditional victims of bullying, i.e. kids who are shy or have other peculiar traits, are essentially invisible in this bill.
3. It would require schools to police student Internet and cell phone activity on a 24/7/365 basis.
4. It requires schools to investigate anonymous accusations and does not give students the right to confront their accusers, thereby allowing students to harass one another by making unsubstantiated charges of misconduct.
5. It would use the state education system to compel children to adopt politically correct attitudes on subjects like sexuality, "gender identity" and alternative family structures. For example, a child who believes that children do best when they have a parent of both sexes, a mom and a dad - could potentially be referred to "counseling" by school authorities for failing to "value diversity."
6. The bill would apply not only to public schools but to private schools as well. That's a big problem for parochial schools that are teaching the fact that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered and offend God.
It appears school officials are not lobbying for this bill. It's probably not a tool for them to help do their jobs better.