Summit to Prevent Bullying - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Summit to Prevent Bullying

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by Phil Prazan

pprazan@myabc5.com

@PhilPrazan

Once dismissed as an unavoidable part of growing up, bullying is now recognized as a significant issue for kids.

Iowans took a step forward to solve the problem Tuesday.
Governor Branstad shined a spotlight on the issue with a summit at Hy-Vee hall.

Students, teachers, parents and administrators all came to try to stop the problem on various levels.  Several hundred people filled the hall to spread ideas and advice on this complicated and far reaching issue.

Bullying has escalated in the public mind by more recent media attention that came with the spread of cyber-bullying.

Panel discussions with students and counselors gave tips on how to act when confronted with bullying over the Internet, texts, or social media.

Dr. Paul Gausman, the superintendent of Sioux City Community Schools gave an opening address about his struggle with the problem.

His district was highlighted in a new documentary called "Bully."
 
"There's kind of a cloak of anonymity that's given to people whoa re on the Internet.  If they're on a social media site or maybe the blogosphere or that kind of thing.  That has really created a challenge for school districts because a lot of that happens outside of the school and outside school hours.  But then it comes into the school and we must deal with it," says Dr. Gausman.
 
Speakers stressed families can help fight cyber bullying even if they don't use the Internet.  The important thing is to just have a conversation within your family about it.

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