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 th
More than half of the country’s teens have been bullied online, and about the same number have engaged in cyber-bullying. Today on River To River, a discussion on bullying in Iowa. Host Ben Kieffer hears the story of a young Iowan who was bullied, who now uses that experience to help others going through the same. Jacob Stallman is a 17-year-old Tipton resident who was named the 2013 Spirit of Matthew Award winner by the Matthew Shepard Foundation for his community work to overcome bullying and homophobia.
While parents still worry about who their children are interacting with online, parents are focusing their concern now on how their children are represented online. Ben Kieffer talks with experts about the way children perceive the Internet and how their posts could affect their academic or professional future. Then Iowa school officials discuss efforts to prevent cyber bullying in Iowa.