Bullying, in schools and online, has become a hot-button issue recently, with the suicide of a bullied Iowa teen and the recent release of the documentary Bully, featuring a Sioux Falls boy.
The director and the writer of Bully visited Cedar Falls to participate in a panel discussion on bullying, and one of the messages they had for the community was that bullying does not exist in a vacuum. It takes a community conversation to begin to truly address it.
That is what this article seeks to do: start a conversation. We're asking for your comments and questions about bullying, and our panelists will respond and offer their insight.
Leave your questions and comments below.
Some of the members on our panel are:
Derek Hannah, Youth Sports Director at the Walnut Creek YMCA.
Linn-Mar High School student Matt Shankles was the subject of bullying after coming out as gay, but he has stood up to bullying rather than give in.
Officer Jessica Jensen, School Resource Officer for the Johnston Community School District.
Dr. Warren J. Blumenfeld, Associate Professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Iowa State University
Jen Alexander, School Counselor at Hansen Elementary in Cedar Falls.
Officer Mackenzie Sposeto, school resource officer in the Waukee school district.
Please feel free to jump in to the conversation at any time. Patch editors will be monitoring and moderating the comment stream.