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School district logs bullying incidents in new way

November 7, 2012
By ANDREW POTTER - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

As mandated by the Iowa Department of Education, the Marshalltown Community School District is logging incidents of harassment and bullying to the state throughout the school year. In the past, the district provided a report on incidents to the state on an annual basis.

Now, there is a state website where incidents are recorded and all school districts are asked to comply.

"The accountability for us dealing with harassment has been elevated throughout the state," said Lisa Koester, director of human resources with the school district.

The reports indicate which students have done the bullying, who the victims are and there are descriptions of types of bullying to be entered. The incidents are to be entered on the site by building principals, and Koester said that process has been slow going so far this school year.

"They are a little overwhelmed with it right now," Koester said.

She said this new way of filing reports corresponds with Gov. Terry Branstad's task force on bullying in Iowa. Koester said this "is a very important thing for the state." It is hoped the Not In Our Town anti-bullying campaign started this year will help decrease bullying numbers in Marshalltown.



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