Minnesota has drawn national attention in recent years for bullying incidents in its schools. Attorney General Lori Swanson called for a tougher anti-bullying law on Wednesday, November 23, 2011. Under her proposal, districts would need to adopt policies by Jan. 1, 2013, that would prohibit students from bullying and retaliating against victims or those who report bullying. At the time, Minnesota's bullying law was the shortest in the nation, but did require school districts to have an anti-bullying policy.
On November 29, 2011, Governor Mark Dayton established a Task Force on the Prevention of School Bullying (Executive Order 11-33).
On February 21, 2012, Governor Mark Dayton [re]established a Task Force on the Prevention of School Bullying (Executive Order 12-01). The purpose of the order was to ensure that all students in Minnesota schools are provided with a safe and welcoming environment wherein each student is accepted and valued in order to maximize each student's learning potential. Inherent with this responsibility is the assurance that all students will be equally protected, specifically as it relates to bullying, harassment, and intimidation, while engaging in educational pursuits. Although not explicitly stated in the Executive Order, the Task Force recommendations, specifically the definitions, apply to both students and adults who should be protected from bullying and who deserve an educational environment in which to participate and thrive. The Task Force was directed to complete its work by August 1, 2012.
In 2014, the Minnesota legislature passed Chapter 160, creating Minnesota Statute 121A.031, repealing Minnesota's previous bullying law, and adding new language.
The Minnesota House Public Information Office's New Laws 2014 publication discussed the new law: "The state's new Safe and Supportive Schools Act contains the recommendations of a 15-member task force established by the governor in 2012. It defines bullying, cyber-bullying and specifically prohibits it on the basis of sexual orientation, race or religion among other characteristics. It applies to actions on school premises, at school functions, on school transportation or by use of electronic technology. The law, with various effective dates, provides students, teachers, parents and administrators a strong set of tools to create their own anti-bullying policy and to take on the issue of bullying while creating safe educational school climates, said Rep. Jim Davnie (DFL-Mpls), who sponsors the law with Sen. D. Scott Dibble (DFL-Mpls)."