After over 11 hours of impassioned debate led by mostly Republicans on the House Floor this week, the state of Minnesota became the 16th state to pass a comprehensive and enumerated bullying prevention law that protects students who are most vulnerable to being bullied or harassed because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, and gender identity or gender expression. As we come together to celebrate this victory with our partners including OutFront Minnesota, we are excited to share GLSEN’s safe schools work over the past decade to secure LGBT-inclusive bullying prevention bills in 20 states.
In Minnesota, our investment in this long-term process included helping to form and support the Minnesota Safe Schools for All Coalition, a group of more than 120 education, LGBT, and youth-serving organizations who support passage of comprehensive legislation to strengthen policies against bullying and harassment in Minnesota schools. We have supported the coalition by providing model language and drafting legislation; providing Minnesota state-level school climate "snapshots" for use by local advocates; mobilizing support from corporate, government, and legislative partners as well as other national organizations positioned to assist.
Recently, GLSENs Office of Public Policy was a major sponsor of Minnesota’s Youth Summit and visited the state on several occasions when suicides in Anoka Hennepin schools called attention to a crisis among LGBT youth there.
The ground-breaking work in Minnesota highlights a great example of GLSENs long-term work in partnership with Equality Federations and advocacy groups across the nation to create a safe and supportive school climate for all students to learn and succeed.