University of Iowa public health forum addresses cyberbullying

Southern Iowa business, health and education leaders discussed ideas today for making its communities healthier and safer. A new topic to the forum this year addresses the issue of cyberbullying.

The University of Iowa's College of Public Health hosts the forum twice every semester.

Tuesdayâ??s keynote presentation focused on cyberbullying as a public health issue affecting Iowaâ??s youth.

"It's very disturbing to young people and adults," Dean Sue Curry, Ph.D., University of Iowa College of Public Health said. "It can lead to very serious consequences, as far as suicide among young people adolescents in particular is a very vulnerable time. Itâ??s very prevalent and the best way to deal with it is to bring it out in the open and to talk about it."


The university would like to implement bullying prevention programs in grade schools across the state over the course of the next two months. It will incorporate a curriculum that utilizes performing arts. An example of this is a traveling play called "Out of Bounds." The anti-bullying themed play is possible through a collaboration between Hancher Performing Arts and the Working Group Theater. It teaches the consequences of cyberbullying from both a student's and an adult's perspective.

The ultimate goal is to engage schools not to tolerate bullying on or off campus.