Combating bullying

Itâ??s something weâ??ve all fallen victim to at some point in our lives: bullying.

Everyday bullying prevents an estimated 160,000 children from going to school.

And this serious issue has lawmakers talking.

â??Bullying is an issue; more so in some places than others but to the extent to which communities can identify that issue and kids who might be bullied not just those who are doing the bullying itâ??s really important too because this is about kids who feel like they're not a part of something and someone who gets bullied often feels alone and itâ??s really a dangerous situation,â?? said Congressman Dave Loebsack.

Bullying victim turned activist Jodee Blanco traveled to Davis County earlier this month and spoke with parents, teachers and students about bullying.

â??Bullying isnâ??t just the mean things you do, it's all the nice things you never do; that letting someone sit alone at lunch, letting someone walk to school alone that you may not think is bullying but it is,â?? said Blanco.

And superintendents or area school districts all agree on the same thing, bullying prevention needs to be a community-wide effort.

â??First off we've got to make sure that it's not just a school-wide effort but a community-wide effort so we're all familiar with the signs and understanding what kids might be feeling and listening and everyone working together to help bring the bullying issue to light and understand and help people understand that it's not acceptable,â?? said Dan Maeder, Davis County Community Schools superintendent.

â??We not only try to educate our students on what's acceptable, what's not acceptable but with that, proactively, just building a culture in each building, a culture that really empowers a sense of belonging. We have essential learnings that we educate our students with and three of those essential learnings are respectful individuals, a responsive community member and very importantly, a compassionate ro-model,â?? said Davis Eidahl, Ottumwa Community Schools Superintendent.