For One Girl Scout the Safe + Supportive Minnesota Schools Act is Personal

Lydia Ross advocates for Anti-Bullying legislationTen-year old Lydia Ross was a kindergartner who couldn’t fully comprehend why her second grade brother would be teased, threatened, and even attacked at school. When the bullying didn’t stop, Lydia and her brother were forced to switch schools.

Now, Lydia wants to put Girl Scouts’ mission of making the world a better place to work and assure bullying doesn’t happen to other kids. The Girl Scout Junior from Troop #54258 is educating others and making a plea for support of the Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act, which is up for legislative action during the 2014 session.

Lydia has attended youth summits at the State Capitol and legislative hearings for the bill. She has visited with her state legislators about why she supports the bill, staffed information booths at events, given presentations, and collected petition signatures. She’s even provided a guest writer commentary for her local newspaper.

The U.S. Department of Education rated Minnesota’s anti-bullying law the weakest in the nation. While it requires the school districts to have a policy, it doesn’t specify what the policy should say, who should be protected, what training educators need or what learning activities students should engage in.

The Girl Scouts River Valleys is proud of Lydia, and proud to join over 120 Minnesota organizations that support the Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act. The legislation, which has already passed in the House, will move on to the Senate Finance Committee and then the Senate floor for a vote. Governor Dayton backs the bill, so as long as it passes in the Senate, he’ll sign it in to law

All students deserve a safe and supportive environment and this bill will help protect students and help assure that they have a learning environment that will help them reach their full potential.

Here are a few ways you can help: