ST. PAUL, Minn. - Just days after a Minnesota House committee passed an anti-bullying bill for state schools, a Senate committee passed its own separate version.
On a 9-6 vote, Senate Bill 783 now heads to a judiciary committee.
On Tuesday, victims of bullying spoke out. Now 10-years-old, Jake Ross told lawmakers about how he was bullied as a second-grader.
"One of the bullying students stood up at the lunch table and said very loudly, 'Who's going to help me beat up Jake today?'" testified Ross. "Then following lunch outside at recess I was cornered and attacked. I was pushed to the ground repeatedly up to 20 times. I tried to get away, but I could not."
The 22-page bill titled The Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act would potentially replace the state's current anti-bullying law which is roughly a paragraph.
Those for and against the bill were given 30 minutes of testimony.
"We all want students to treat one another with civility and respect our schools," said Katherine Kersten. "But this bill is not the way to accomplish that."
Senators debated about the wording of the bill and the definition of bullying, but in a close vote, agreed to send the bill on to the next committee.
While separate, the house and senate anti-bullying bills are on parallel paths and if passed, a version of a merged bill would be created and voted on by all lawmakers.
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