Iowa Superintendent Has a Game Plan for Cyber-Bullying

IOWA'S HANDLE ON BULLYING: Here's a informative look at how one rural Iowa district is dealing with cyber-bullying in the wake of  a 1:1 computing implementation for its fifth to seventh graders. According to the Des Moines Register, East Union Schools Superintendent, Pam Vogel, was spurred to action after her district landed in the Top 10 amongst Iowa public schools for bullying incidents per capita. (The Register also disputes the validity of the Top 10 list since there's no incentive to report bullying). Vogel's prevention plan includes weekly homeroom lessons on bullying (from Olweus) and monitoring system from Gaggle that tracks threatening and inappropriate language traveling across school servers. Most student infractions lead to an email warning; serious situations trigger a phone call straight to Vogel's desk. Whether or not these actions lead to decreased incidents of bullying remains to be seen -- the district is depending on parents to monitor Facebook and Twitter -- but it's encouraging to see a public school administration take proactive steps to change student behaviors.

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