Boys Town to develop anti-bullying website, hot line for Iowa

A nationally known agency for troubled adolescents is developing a website and hot line to help Iowans deal with bullying and to prevent young people from committing suicide.

Boys Town, based in Omaha, has received a $48,000 grant from the Iowa Department of Public health to develop the project. The money was earmarked by legislators last spring amid a wave of teen suicides and concern about bullying.

Mark Vander Linden, an administrator for the health department, said the project would aim to offer expert information and advice to families that are wrestling with bullying. “If you’re a parent and your child is being bullied, you kind of run out of recommendations pretty quickly,” he said.

The project, which is to go online in December, will seek to answer questions from parents and young people, and it will include links to report bullying. Its staff also will watch for young people who seem distraught, and will guide them to counseling services, Vander Linden said.

Read the full Des Moines Register article by Tony Leys here.