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No one likes a bully

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You can say it in five words - no one likes a bully.

Gov. Mark Dayton signed new anti-bullying legislation last week in an effort to deal with the problem as it exists in Minnesota schools.

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State representative Jim Davnie of Minneapolis has said the legislation will give school districts a strong set of tools to deal with bullying problems. This statement is a bit ironic. One of the easiest ways to bully someone else is by a piece of technology many kids carry with them every day — the cell phone — a tool used for communicating.

Some felt the legislation was necessary because Minnesota's current policy is only 37 words long and therefore has to be weak and outdated. Others see a very real need for schools to beef up their vigilance. If your child is being bullied in a school setting it is the administration's duty to deal with it — just like it is the duty of a parent, or both parents, to deal with it in the home.

It makes sense for school districts to determine their own anti-bullying policies. How could someone from St. Paul be expected to effectively deal with bullying problems in Wadena? Or visa-versa?

There is another perspective to consider in writing these policies. Kids develop friendships and animosities just like adults. Expecting them to act or react the same as their peers is making a gigantic assumption that they share the same attitudes.

How effective more words will be in dealing with bullies is open to question. If the current 37 words are inadequate will more words make a difference? We may now begin to find out and discover if the recent legislation has gone too far or not far enough.

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