The Minnesota House has approved an
overhaul of Minnesota's bullying-prevention law after a nearly 12
The bill, which adds protections for
gay and transgender students, cleared the House on a 69-63 vote over
the strenuous objections of Republicans.
The Senate approved the Safe and
Supportive Minnesota Schools Act last week. Three Democrats (DFL) in
the Senate joined all Republicans in voting against the bill, the
Governor Mark Dayton has pledged his
Republican Rep. Jim Newberger urged
House colleagues to vote against the measure, saying that “Democrats
want access into your private life.”
“If this isn't a mirror image of
1984, I don't know what is,” he said. “The only
difference is George Orwell was off by 30 years.”
Rep. Mike Benson, also a Republican,
claimed that the bill “is more about a social agenda than
Other opponents argued that the law
could be used to restrict students' freedom of speech rights.
“Students do not shed their
constitutional rights when they enter the schoolhouse door,” said
Rep. Joyce Peppin, a Republican from Rogers.
Dayton, a Democrat, will hold a signing
ceremony on the Capitol steps at 4 PM Wednesday.