State officials say it’s much more than a big kid shoving a little kid around, demanding lunch money. They say the problem of bullying has grown to such a proportion, students and educators from across Iowa are meeting today in Ames for a summit on how to identify, combat and prevent bullying. Conference chair Jane Todey says the response from wanna-be attendees has been huge. Todey says they upped the enrollment to 425 people for the one-day meeting and more than 250 people are on the waiting list. She says “The schools with their teens have been really anxious to come and must see it as a need…because of the response we’ve gotten.” Todey explains the goals of the conference. Awareness of what the issues are around bullying, ways to approach it, to intervene and to ultimately prevent it. Also, Todey says the teens will be meeting in groups to pull their ideas together so they’ll have something to do once they return to their schools. She says it’s not really known how much bullying is going on in schools across Iowa or nationwide.The full title of the event is “The 2005 Governor’s Conference on Bullying and Harassment: Power and Empowerment.” It runs all day at Scheman Auditorium in Ames.
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