Initiatives in Iowa, Kansas Tackle Bullying, Cyber Safety

By Ian Quillen — December 28, 2011 1 min read
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Initiatives in Iowa and Kansas are reaching out online to address student safety issues, according to reports this week from the Associated Press.

In Iowa, the Des Moines-based Eychaner Foundation has launched its Report Bullying Iowa website in response to what foundation leaders say has been a lack of school-level response to the state department of education’s anti-bullying policy.

The AP reports that Michael Bowser, the foundation’s executive director, has told the Des Moines Register that less than half of the state’s school districts have reported bullying despite department requirements to do so. The site promotes tolerance and nondiscrimination while also allowing any user to register a bullying complaint that will be sent directly to the appropriate school district.

Report Bullying Iowa launched on Dec. 7 and as of Monday had received 30 registered complaints from 20 Iowa counties.

To the southwest, the Kansas attorney general’s office finds that the state’s version of the Netsmartz Internet safety program has reached 56,000 students ages 5-17.

The program, which aims to educate students, teachers, and parents about online safety issues, is entering its sixth year after the attorney general’s office partnered with the Kansas Alliance of Boys and Girls clubs to launch it in 2006.

• Meanwhile, documents made public Tuesday show the parents of Phoebe Prince, the Irish-American 15-year-old who committed suicide after relentless tormenting from classmates that included cyberbullying, received $225,000 in a settlement with the town of South Hadley, Mass., and its school district, the AP reports.

The documents were made public because of a court order. The settlement occurred more than a year before their release.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.