Bills that call for more training of teachers and administrators asked to police and investigate cases of bullying has cleared committees in the Iowa House and Senate. Representative Quentin Stanerson of Center Point says teachers would have to complete the training as part of their professional development requirements.
“We’re never going to probably stop bullying, but that doesn’t mean we don’t try to do something to help out these kids that are struggling right now and that are the victims of this,” Stanerson says.
The anti-bullying proposal is one of Governor Terry Branstad’s priorities for the 2014 legislative session, but Democrats like Representative Mary Mascher of Iowa City say the $25,000 Branstad has recommended to pay for that teacher and administrator training is inadequate.
“Everyone who has talked to us about this has said the bill doesn’t work unless the training component is there and it’s really strong,” Mascher says.
A Senate committee working on similar legislation set aside a million dollars for the state’s new anti-bullying effort. The House committee’s bill does not address the spending issue.