WDAY: The News Leader

Published April 06, 2014, 08:55 PM

New Minnesota anti-bullying bill

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - A new bill to curb bullying in Minnesota looks like it may be passed in to law soon.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - A new bill to curb bullying in Minnesota looks like it may be passed in to law soon.

The Minnesota Senate approved the controversial bill on Friday, following the House's approval last year.

Richard Seidel-Son Faced Bullying: "Something needs to be done about it."

Richard Seidel knows all about bullying.

His 15-year-old son Brandon faced bullies every day at his former school in western North Dakota.

He has since transferred to Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton.

Seidel: "Dealt with it out in Williston, North Dakota, going to school. He'd been bullied; roughed-up."

A controversial bill moving through the Minnesota legislature aims to stop bullying in schools.

The "Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act" narrowly passed the Senate after six hours of debate.

It passed in the House of Representatives last year.

Representative Paul Marquart of Dilworth, a teacher himself, says he expects they will concur with the Senate version Monday.

Governor Mark Dayton has said he will sign the bill.

Rep. Paul Marquart-(D) 04B: "No matter where you are in the state of Minnesota, bullying is taking place. And what's important is no parent in the state of Minnesota should have to worry about their child staying home from school because of being picked on or bullied."

Opponents say the bill shows a distrust for parents and educators to handle these issues.

They're also concerned about the cost of tracking cases of bullying across the state.

But Seidel says the legislation would help set his mind at ease.

Seidel: "Makes you feel safer that your kid's okay in school and that discipline will be taken care of."

Last year, a report from Management and Budget office estimated the bill would cost $20 million per year.

No money is included in the legislation to cover those costs.