Special Report: Minnesota Weak on Bullying

After a six-month investigation, MPR News presents the first comprehensive look at school bullying policies, cyber-bullying and what schools are doing to solve the growing bullying problem. Scroll down for stories, photos, links to other bullying content, and reaction to this series.

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  1. Here is the first story in our series, reported by Tom Weber of MPR News:

  2. What's the best way to curtail bullying in Minnesota schools? Read the first part of an MPR News investigation, and leave your thoughts here.
  3. Whatever system we put in place has to deal with victim and perpetrator, as both need help. Standardized reporting (more than one sentence) and a statewide agreement to keep records of incidents and share said records (like CriMNet, but for kids!) might be the easiest.
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  5. Tom Weber appeared on Fox 9 this morning to discuss his reporting. Watch the video.  

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  7. They're talking on Twitter. Sample:
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  9. We made bullying the topic of Today's Question on Monday, May 16.


  10.           Some TQ responses:

  11. I was bullied from third grade through 12th grade. I was told it was my fault.
  12. My now-9 yr old son has Asperger's, but it wasn't caught until 1st grade. His kindergarten year was a nightmare of bulllying by his classmates, most of which took place on the noon bus home (we lived in an area with half-day K), when there were no older kids to check the 5 yr olds' behavior. I have no idea where such young kids got such horrific ideas: they told him they would come into his house and set his bed on fire
  13. I moved often thru childhood and changed schools every yer or so. 8th grade we moved to a tiny, Wisconsin town. I walked into a 13-14 student class that consisted of 3 girls. I was the scapegoat of nearly the entire class. At 12 I dreamt of murdering mean kids and of dieing. It ws the worst year of my entire life. I would go to the principal and tell him things were too tough, people were harsh; he would encourage me to stick it out but then tell me his kids wouldn't be so mean.
  14. In 5th through about 7th grade a particular bully made my school life miserable with small bits of playground cruelty, and junior high teachers mistook my depression for an attitude problem. I learned to read well and think through science fiction, not caring about studies until high school. It was sadly gratifying to hear many years later that the guy was in jail. Maybe the experience equipped me to handle adversity, in person and now as lawyer
  15. Yep, moving makes you a target. I also moved during elementary school, and was bullied in every class because I was new. I was bullied in junior and senior high, as well. I cried myself to sleep all during ninth grade--three of my four best friends stopped calling, and stopped including me because one of them--new to the school only a year, but she had that certain charisma--convinced them that I was 'too embarrassing to be around'
  16. Yep, moving makes you a target. I also moved during elementary school, and was bullied in every class because I was new. I was bullied in junior and senior high, as well. I cried myself to sleep all during ninth grade--three of my four best friends stopped calling, and stopped including me because one of them--new to the school only a year, but she had that certain charisma--convinced them that I was 'too embarrassing to be around'.
  17. Our kids have gone to school in 4 states. The bullying they experienced at each transition led us to agree to online schooling with our most recent move. It's not just kids who bully, adults dish it out as well.
  18. We had to switch my youngest son to another school because the school would do nothing about the bullying he was experiencing. A new school and a year of therapy later, he finally trusts me again. That was the worst, when we realized that he no longer had faith in his father and I to help him.
  19. I was an overweight child in a small rural town. Yep I was bullied. Nobody did anything. Of course I thought it was my fault. Bullying is still happening. The schools are in denial about it now, which is very sad.
  20. I think much of this has crossed a line and it's no longer "bullying". It's not "teasing" either. This is harassment and assault (verbal or physical) and sometimes it's stalking. If adults did this stuff to another coworker there would be formal charges and police and restraining orders. Its time kids had the same protections.
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