Taylor helps Senate pass bipartisan safe schools legislation to better protect Iowa students from bullying

Written by Theresa Rose on April 1, 2015

(Des Moines) On Tuesday, March 31, 2015, Senator Rich Taylor of Mount Pleasant helped the Iowa Senate approve bipartisan legislation that takes major steps forward to reduce the bullying of Iowa students both in and out of schools. Senate File 345 was approved by a vote of 43-7.

“Bullying can devastate children, families, and communities, and the effects can last into adulthood,” said Taylor. “Senate File 345 breaks new ground by addressing bullying that uses electronic communications to bully others and bullying that occurs outside of school grounds. It also creates a state-level working group and mandates training in local schools when funding becomes available.”

The 2014 Iowa Youth Survey (IYS) State Report surveyed 77,139 students representing 85 percent of public schools. The survey is conducted with students in grades 6, 8, and 11 attending Iowa public and private schools. Thirty-nine percent of all respondents reported they were bullied at school at least once in the last 30 days by other students calling them names, making fun of them, or teasing in a hurtful way.

“Every Iowa child has the unquestionable right to be safe and secure at their school and in their community,” said Taylor. “Today, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate took action to continue their leadership in the fight against bullying in Iowa schools.”

Last year, the Iowa Senate approved a comprehensive anti-bullying bill, but the Iowa House failed to debate the bill. This year, concerned citizens from across Iowa worked with legislators to create a compromise which it is hoped the Iowa House will approve and Governor Branstad will sign.