Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds at their weekly news conference today announced they will host the Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit this fall and encouraged all Iowans to engage in the important issue of bullying prevention.
The summit will be held on Nov. 27 at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines and will feature a number of speakers from Iowa communities. State and national experts also will present strategies about how to combat bullying, both offline and online.
Sioux City Superintendent Dr. Paul Gausman, who joined Branstad and Reynolds at the news conference, will discuss efforts his community has taken to combat bullying.
The luncheon speaker will be Rosalind Wiseman, whose book became the basis of the movie, “Mean Girls.”
Registration will begin in September. More summit details will be announced as that date gets closer.
“We believe we can, and we must, do more to stand up against bullying in Iowa,” said Branstad. “Iowans have a well-deserved reputation for neighborliness. Let’s leverage that tradition to put an end to bullying because all children deserve to feel safe at school.”
In the most recent Iowa Youth Survey of students in grades six, eight and 11, half of those surveyed reported being bullied in some way, and most youngsters witness the bullying of their peers sooner or later.
“Some people may ask, ‘Why is so much attention being paid to the issue of bullying now?’” said Reynolds. “Awareness is growing that what used to be excused as ‘kids being kids’ is more harmful than previously realized. Additionally, with the added threats from cyber-bullying, we can no longer discount bullying as a normal phase of childhood, or hope someone else will deal with the problem.”
The summit will be paid for with funding from the Iowa Department of Education, registration fees ($40 for adults older than age 22 and $20 for students) and generous support from the private sector.
For more information go to: https://preventbullying.iowa.gov
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