Minnesota’s 37-word bullying prevention law is considered one of the weakest in America and Students Demanding Change is working hard to change that. The Twin Cities-based, student-led organization will hold a rally at the Minnesota State Capitol on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
This is a student movement, but parents, teachers, and concerned citizens are invited to join the students as they stand together and demand change. Participants in the rally are encouraged to wear orange, the color of the bullying prevention movement.
“This is about students protecting each other,” said Sydney Eberwein, one of four Mounds Park Academy students leading Students Demanding Change, with the support of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. “The students’ voice isn’t really heard on the issue of bullying prevention. It’s usually just legislators talking about it. We wanted to have our voice out there because it is a student issue.”
More than 160,000 children miss school every day out of fear of attack or intimidation by other students. Children who are bullied are more likely to develop depression and anxiety disorders that do not disappear at the end of the school year. Doctors say the effects of bullying can last a lifetime. In some cases, bullying can even lead to suicide.
Students Demanding Change organized the rally to promote stronger bullying prevention legislation in Minnesota. The organization believes that a student perspective is vital if the State Legislature is going to successfully write a new law to prevent bullying, both in schools and in social media. Students Demanding Change is taking action and standing up against bullying for the sake of Minnesota’s students.
“It’s not just about statistics. It’s about us as students,” said Audrey Berdahl-Baldwin of Students Demanding Change. “We feel very strongly that every student has the right to go to school and feel safe, the right to be safe.”
PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center provides creative and interactive resources that are designed to benefit all students, including students with disabilities. It offers educators, students, families, and individuals the tools they need to address bullying in schools, recreational programs, or community organizations. For more information, visit PACER.org/bullying or call HYPERLINK “tel:952-838-9000″952-838-9000.
Based in Minnesota, PACER Center is a national parent center serving all youth, with a special emphasis on children with disabilities. Learn more at PACER.org or call HYPERLINK “tel:952-838-9000″952-838-9000; HYPERLINK “tel:888-248-0822″888-248-0822 (national toll free).