Iowa’s governor and lieutenant governor are inviting students in middle school and high school to shoot videos about how bullying is being addressed in their school. Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds says video submissions that meet contest guidelines will be posted on the governor’s YouTube channel.

“Students should use this as an opportunity to tell your school’s story about how bullying is being stopped, what more might be done and how to better engage the community as a whole in bullying prevention efforts,” she says.

From November 12-21, Iowans will be invited to go on-line and choose their favorite video from the collection. The contest is meant to highlight the upcoming anti-bullying conference Governor Branstad is hosting on November 27. Branstad says they’ll even tackle the tough topic of how schools might address students’ on-line bullying via Twitter, Facebook and other social media networks.

“We want to make sure that we’re doing all we can to provide a safe environment for Iowa students, both in what happens on the playground and school property, but also what happens off the school grounds,” Branstad says, “when they’re home at night, over social media.”

The governor admits any state law addressing on-line bullying must strike a “delicate balance” that secures parental rights and constitutional free speech guarantees while advancing school policies that prevent bullying. 

Find out more about the anti-bullying conference here.

AUDIO of governor’s weekly news conference; Branstad and Reynolds discussed the initiative at the beginning.