South SRC Students Speak at Rally

Ellen Gantenbein, Staff Writer

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Students from South’s student group Silver Ribbon Campaign (SRC) headed to the capitol on March 6th to participate in Mental Health Rally & Day events. The purpose of the day was to show support for several bills surrounding mental health and bullying issues. Students attended an information session and met with legislators.

“[The legislators] were really supportive of all of the different bills and all of the initiatives and really thought it was impressive what we do here at South… it was really cool that it seemed like there are a lot of legislators that want to support us and they want our input.”

Later South’s SRC group along with several other groups from around the state gathered for a rally at the rotunda. South students Eleanor Noble, Clara Wildenauer and Elena Dooley spoke before large crowds. Noble explained what SRC does and what their goals are. Dooley spoke of her own experiences with bullying and SRC, detailing why some of the bills in discussion are important to her. Dooley reflected on the experience, recalling “I was really nervous. It was really hard to talk and it was really intense, but afterward I felt really powerful. People were listening and clapping, it was really a wonderful thing.”

One of the main focuses was the Safe and Supportive School Act. According to an article by the Star Tribune, the bill would “require schools to develop detailed antibullying policies, educate staff and provide support for all students who have been victims.” In addition “It will provide educators, parents and students with tools and resources they need for bullying prevention and intervention,” stated a page on outfront.org, a website advocating for the cause.

Last year, the bill passed committees in the House and Senate as well as on the House Floor. It didn’t, however make it to a vote on the Senate Floor before the session ended. The bill will be reintroduced during the current session. The bill has received a lot of backing. Dooley spoke of the support at the rally. “It really opened my eyes to see that there are so many people that are trying to fight for this… it was inspiring to see so many people there.”

South students who attended the event valued the experience. Wildenauer noted “I think that it’s very important to go to events like these because it helps spread the influence of SRC past our school and being involved in the community is a really big deal because not everyone has access to things like SRC and the support and good environment it creates.”

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