Student: Use Facebook Safely

Oct 7, 2014

A series of town hall meetings addressing the problem of bullying in schools wrapped up  in Marshalltown.  

Governor Branstad says he hopes to take  ideas from the forums to revise  his anti-bullying legislation next year.    

Bullying is serious. Bullying is harmful. It is a public health problem that has a lasting influence on our children. - Chris Branstad

The governor, lieutenant governor, and first lady Chris Branstad led the  events  in Sioux City, Troy Mills, and Marshalltown, where about 40 people turned out. Chris Branstad has championed anti-bullying in her work with social service agencies.

“Bullying is serious. Bullying is harmful. It is a public health problem that has a lasting influence on our children,” Branstad says.      

The first lady  says kids are harmed whether  they’re bullied in  person or on social media. Marshalltown senior Cecilia Martinez says kids need to know how to use Facebook and other social media safely:

“Simply pushing a button doesn't make your profile private. There are ways around that,” Martinez says. 

A bill mandating that schools report bullying to parents  failed to pass the legislature last year. Marshalltown Superintendent Marvin Wade says schools are already addressing the problem, but a new law would force them to do more.  

“ I'd rather see legislation  that says you can do this, you have an obligation to do this, now go do it. Part  of that is involving the parents,” Wade says.    

Governor Branstad says  next year’s bill may let students report bullying anonymously.

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