School board fulfills anti-bullying requirement


In line with the recent passage of the Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Law, the Maple Lake School Board approved a bullying prohibition policy for the district.
“School districts are required by statute to have an anti-bullying policy,” Superintendent Mark Redemske said during the meeting on Monday, July 14.
“I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know that it’s going to change a whole lot from how we try to handle (bullying),” he continued.
Redemske did mention one aspect of battling bullying that existed long before the passage of the law.
“One thing that is a challenge is when something is going on at school and we find out it has something to do with social media at home,” Redemske said. 
High School Principal Dave Hansen vouched that problems from social media and texting often spill over into the halls of the high school.
He noted that the high school handbook, which was approved by the board the same night, will include a summary of the bullying policy, including the option for students to appeal a suspension related to the policy.
Elementary Principal Kris Harlan noted that Colleen Carlson, a special education teacher at the high school, will be penning an article for the fall school newsletter about what’s new and different.
The language of the school’s policy is modeled after the policy recommended by the Minnesota School Board Association.
While the board had discussed the bill at length in the past, including when citizens expressed concerns that the law could infringe upon students’ religious freedoms, the mandated policy passed 4-0 with board members Ben Elsenpeter, Joe Paumen and Ed Trager absent.
More information appears in this week's Messenger.