Governor Terry Branstad says tomorrow’s “bullying prevention summit” may yield ideas for new policies at the state level.
“You know, a survey of students shows that about 50 percent of the students have been bullied in the past year,” Branstad says. “So this is a significant problem and it’s a serious effort to address it.”
But Branstad cautions it’s going to take more than policy pronouncements from officials
“We know that it’s going to take the involvement of school leaders and parents and communities,” Branstad says. “We are all in this together and we all have to work together and I’m hopeful that we can come up with some good strategies that will work for parents, that will work for school districts, that will work for communities.”
A child bullied on a Sioux City school bus was featured in a national documentary called “Bully” that called attention to the prevalence of bullying and the superintendent of Sioux City schools will speak at Tuesday’s conference. This past April, a northwest Iowa teenager who openly admitted to being gay killed himself. His family says he was being bullied on-line and at school with gay slurs.
In August, Governor Branstad announced a statewide bullying prevention summit would be held because in his words “it is time to do more to stand up to bullying.” Registration is closed for tomorrow’s summit. Over a thousand people signed up to attend.