Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today announced they will be hosting the second Governor's Bullying Prevention Summit, to be held on Nov. 4 at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines.
This year's theme is "Mission Possible: Stepping Up the Response," and is a follow-up to the governor's sold-out inaugural 2012 Bullying Prevention Summit, which drew about 1,100 students and adults to focus on community involvement in preventing bullying.
The purpose of this year's summit is to explore the practical next steps to better address the pervasive problem of bullying.
The 2012 Iowa Youth Survey reported that 57 percent of students said that in the last 30 days they had been bullied at school in a variety of ways. That was up from 50 percent in 2010. Growing awareness that bullying should not be tolerated may be behind the increase, as well as new challenges presented by the Internet and social media. Despite this, the governor says we all need to work together to reverse the trend.
"We still have a lot of work to do to eliminate bullying within our schools and ensure our children feel safe at school," said Gov. Branstad. "Iowans share a commitment to helping young people act responsibly and treating others with respect and dignity. Those are core values that shape the culture of Iowa, and we all need to work together to instill these values within our young people."
The summit's keynote speaker is Emily Bazelon, who is the author of "Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy."
The summit will include sessions on how both students and adults can make a difference. Participants will explore what makes for good legal policy, plus other kinds of support schools need to better deal with bullying.
The governor's office is partnering with the Iowa Hall of Pride in promotion of the summit, which includes a video contest. Each school in Iowa is invited to submit a video. Videos should reflect the theme "Mission Possible: Stepping Up the Response," and should show how schools and communities have created or will create a campaign to stop bullying, and demonstrating how everyone deserves to feel safe and supported at school.
Further details on the video contest and registration for the summit can be found at http://preventbullying.iowa.gov. Registration opens Aug. 26, 2013.