The Sioux City Journal, in a powerful, front-page editorial Sunday, called on every Iowan to stand against bullying. The statement comes after the suicide of a 14-year-old Primghar boy who was harassed by fellow students after revealing that he was gay.
The Journal said, in part: “All public and private institutions need to do more to demonstrate that bullying is simply unacceptable in our workplaces and in our homes. We need to educate ourselves and others. Some in our community will say bullying is simply a part of life. If no one is physically hurt, they will say, what’s the big deal? It’s just boys being boys and girls being girls. Those people are wrong, and they must be shouted down.”
An Iowa law requires all schools to submit a plan for dealing with bullying and harassment. A section of the Department of Education’s website is devoted to the topic. It includes a “decision matrix” for determining whether a situation might rise to bullying.