A statewide committee made up of high school students has decided to study school safety, focusing on the dangers of bullying. Chris Westcoff, is an 18-year-old senior from Cresco who’s chairman of the State of Iowa Youth Action Committee, which the kids call SIYAC (sy’-yak). He says bullying is a big problem in schools, and affects a lot of people. Westcoff says it’s very important to address the issue as a whole, because bullying can cause kids to feel like they don’t fit in, or frustrate them so much that they resort to shooting their tormentors. Westcoff says a lot of the bullying starts in the junior high years, and that’s where the focus needs to be since junior high kids often feel awkward and self-conscious. The State of Iowa Youth Action Committee hopes to distribute a “Showtime” movie about bullying to Iowa schools, and will sponsor school discussions on the topic. The Youth Action Committee has existed for three years, and makes recommendations to state leaders on topics ranging from drug and alcohol awareness to how to keep young people from leaving the state.
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