State Representative Chris Hall of Sioux City called on legislators to move ahead new bullying legislation designed to keep kids safe in schools.

“We can’t let partisanship get in the way of protecting kids in our schools.  The bullying legislation has strong bipartisan support and many of the ideas in the bill came from the Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit last fall,” said Hall. “There is no registered opposition to the bill and school administrators are in favor of the bill as well.”

House File 593 was approved by the House Education Committee earlier this year on a 22-1 vote. The bill protects kids by expanding Iowa’s anti-bullying law to include social media and other school-related circumstances.  Rep. Hall has also been working with the Governor to add a parental notification provision if a child is involved in any bullying incident.

The state’s anti-bullying efforts sparked controversy last week when 16 Republican lawmakers joined a group led by Bob VanderPlaats and used offensive language to condemn an anti-bullying conference sponsored by Iowa Safe Schools.  The lawmakers also vowed to stop all community college funding if Des Moines Area Community College didn’t withdraw as a sponsor.

The 8th Annual Iowa Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth starts on Wednesday, April 3 and expects about 800 students and educators from across Iowa.  It’s sponsored by several Iowa businesses and education groups.

“Regardless of personal beliefs, no child deserves to be bullied.  We need to work out our differences and move this bill ahead this year,” added Hall.