The Ottumwa Courier

AP Iowa

October 14, 2013

Branstad continues to work on bullying prevention

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Bullying prevention will again be a key focus for Gov. Terry Branstad this fall, after a push for legislation meant to help school districts combat harassment on social media sites failed during the last legislative session.

In a few weeks, Branstad will host a second bullying summit in Des Moines. The event will feature panels with students, educators and lawmakers discussing how to make kids feel safe at school. Headlining the program will be journalist Emily Bazelon, the author of "Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy."

Looking ahead to the 2014 legislative session, Branstad's special assistant for education Linda Fandel said the governor's office is considering taking another pass at legislation to toughen the state's anti-bullying laws. The bullying bill offered by Branstad earlier this year would have updated state guidelines for school districts to include bullying that occurs outside school on social media websites like Facebook.

But while the bill received subcommittee approval in the House it never moved forward. The exact reasons it stalled remain unclear, though concerns from lawmakers over student free speech and the logistics of implementing the measure clearly played a role. Matt Carver, legal services director for the School Administrators of Iowa, which worked on the bill, said he thought there was confusion about the legislation.

"I think some of it was that there was some confusion about the extent of the authority we wished for," Carver said. "Some may have interpreted that we were trying to give administrators authority to get into home life."

No recent bullying data was available from the state Department of Education. But in the 2012 Iowa Youth Survey, 57 percent of the sixth, eighth and 11th graders surveyed reported some experience being bullied in the previous 30 days. That number was up from 2010, when 50 percent of students surveyed in those grades reported bullying.

Text Only
AP Iowa
  • Northwest Iowa man dies in hay bale accident WESTFIELD, Iowa (AP) — A northwest Iowa man has died after being hit with a hay bale. The Le Mars Daily Sentinel reports (http://bit.ly/1lyRu37 ) 76-year-old Barry E. Knapp, of Westfield, died Tuesday while stacking hay bales. The Plymouth County She

    July 24, 2014

  • Hearing set for Iowan held as deaths case witness AKRON, Iowa (AP) — A detention hearing has been scheduled Aug. 4 for a 44-year-old man held as a material witness in the deaths of an elderly couple. The man has been held since he was taken into custody in La Crosse, Wisconsin, on July 10, the day a

    July 24, 2014

  • Five charged after eastern Iowa police chase SOLON, Iowa (AP) — A two-county police chase in eastern Iowa has ended in the backyard of a house in Solon. Deputies say two teenagers and three men from Cedar Rapids were taken into custody Wednesday night. They face a variety of charges. The five w

    July 24, 2014

  • 2012 fatal boat pilot offers insurance money DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A man facing lawsuits involving a jon boat crash that killed four people and injured six others on the Mississippi River in 2012 has agreed to hand over $300,000 from an insurance policy, but he wants a judge to absolve him of

    July 24, 2014

  • Spontaneous combustion causes Cedar Rapids fire CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Cedar Rapids fire officials say a fire at a local bar was caused by spontaneous combustion of rags and towels containing animal fat. An early morning fire Wednesday at the Chrome Horse Saloon and Slop House damaged the first

    July 24, 2014

  • Fired Iowa editor claims religious discrimination NEWTON (AP) — The former editor of the Newton Daily News has filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claiming he was fired for expressing his religious beliefs.In the complaint filed Wednesday, Bob Eschliman claimed re

    July 24, 2014

  • Propane suppliers: buy ahead to avoid price spikes DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — State officials and propane suppliers are advising consumers to fill their tanks before cold weather arrives because prices could climb again this winter. The Dubuque Telegraph Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1obSe2U ) prices will

    July 23, 2014

  • Woman convicted of murder in Des Moines stabbing DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A woman has been convicted of stabbing to death a 28-year-old man in Des Moines last year. The Des Moines Register says (http://dmreg.co/1nTD5yx ) 22-year-old Miranda Rose Petithory Metcalf was found guilty of second-degree mu

    July 23, 2014

  • Sioux City escape returned to jail SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A man missing from a Sioux City work release facility since July 12 is back in jail after he was located in a Sioux City apartment. The Sioux City Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1rztX9D ) Dexter James-Lloyd No Ear was taken in

    July 23, 2014

  • Burlington City Council fails to censure member BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — An evenly divided Burlington City Council failed to pass a resolution censuring one of its own members for cursing and storming out of a meeting earlier this month. The Burlington Hawk Eye reports (http://bit.ly/1ucN6jT ) the

    July 23, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National