Public School Staff React to Passage of ‘Safe Schools’ Bill

Members of SEIU Local 284 praise steps to improve lives of Minnesota children

Saint Paul, Minn – Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 284 members who work in public schools in Minnesota praised the passage of the “The Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools” Act, which Governor Mark Dayton will sign today after passage in the Minnesota House and Senate. Workers in Minnesota pu
blic schools recognize the damaging impacts that bullying causes every day and were pleased at this step being taken to change the climate for students.

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“I’ve seen too many kids who are bullied and become convinced they are worthless, and I’ve seen how that can ruin a life,” said Donna Morris, a custodian in the Anoka Hennepin School District and Executive Board member of SEIU Local 284. “We can’t continue to say ‘kids will be kids’ when we see the mental and physical toll bullying takes on students. I am happy that the Safe Schools Act passed and hope it will help lead to a better learning environment for students in our schools.”

Recognizing the negative dynamic that bullying brings to Minnesota schools, school employees like Local 284 member Mike Poke see how addressing bullying in the proper way could improve the chance for all students in the state to be successful and complete their education.

“Right now too many students who are being bullied find themselves without support until something drastic happens. Waiting until this point too often results in the students who are bullied not being able to successfully complete their education,” said Poke, a custodian in the Wayzata schools. “It is hard to learn if you are made to be ashamed of yourself and don’t feel like your school is a safe environment. I am hopeful the Safe School Act will provide schools with more tools to address this problem so all of our students have the chance to succeed.”

SEIU Local 284 members across the state have seen the damaging effects that bullying has on students and were supportive of this comprehensive bill that will take Minnesota from having one of the weakest anti-bullying laws in the country to one of the strongest.

“The Safe Schools Act is a big victory for students in Minnesota, and the members of SEIU Local 284 are proud to have supported this bill,” said Carol Nieters, Executive Director of SEIU Local 284. “Every child in our state deserves the opportunity to learn in a safe and supportive environment, and this bill is a great step towards making that a reality.”

 

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SEIU is the workers who provide care and support for your family in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, in their homes, and the Twin Cities’ largest public and private buildings.  The SEIU Minnesota State Council coordinates the electoral, legislative and outreach work of the SEIU Locals in Minnesota to increase the effectiveness of their collective bargaining and new member organizing campaigns.  By building the political involvement of approximately 30,000 SEIU members throughout the state, the State Council is working to improve the lives of all Minnesotans.  The State Council’s board is comprised of elected leaders, members, and staff of the four SEIU Local Unions in Minnesota.

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