Bullying Bill Moving Forward, Funding and Cyber-bullying are Sticking Points

Mar 10, 2014

Republican Governor Terry Branstad identified legislation to combat bullying as one of his top priorities for this legislative session.  However, a bill has stalled in the Iowa House, bogged down by 17 amendments.  Concerns have arisen in the Republican-controlled chamber over whether schools should be responsible for bullying that occurs online or off school grounds.  In his weekly news conference Monday, Governor Branstad said he plans to talk with Iowa House members about moving the legislation forward.  In the meantime, a bill is advancing in the Democratically-controlled Iowa Senate that would give schools authority to act in cases of bullying outside school, and fund training for school employees.  Host Clay Masters talks with Representative Quentin Stanerson, a Center Point Republican and Senator Rob Hogg, a Cedar Rapids Democrat about their competing proposals.  He also gets perspective from Nate Monson, Executive Director of Iowa Safe Schools and Paul Gausman, Superintendent of Sioux City Community School District.

57% of Iowa 6th - 8th graders reported being bullied in the past 30 days.
Credit Emily Kidd 2012 / Flickr Creative Commons

If anything, bullying is a growing problem.  Fifty-seven percent of Iowa 6th through 8th graders reported being bullied in the past 30 days.  That's according to the 2012 Iowa Youth Survey, and compares with 50% the year before.  To try and curb these statistics, Governor Branstad hosted the second annual Governor's Bullying Prevention Summit in Des Moines last November.  Here are some of the stories shared by students and experts at the summit.