Senator Tom Harkin and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently wrote an article for the Sioux City Journal regarding the need to improve school climate and end bullying. In the article, both highlight the Safe School Certification Program:
“Iowa is working to become a leader and a model for other states working to prevent bullying. As one of 11 states awarded a “Safe and Supportive Schools” grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 2010, Iowa is developing ways to assess school climate and to intervene in areas of need. Selected schools across Iowa, including some in Sioux City, are involved in the early stages of this initiative and already are seeing positive results from their efforts.
As part of this initiative, the Iowa Department of Education is working with non-profit partners in a safe school certification process to ensure schools are following best practices in preventing and responding to bullying. In addition, using a free, comprehensive tool developed by the U.S. Department of Education’s Safe and Supportive Schools Technical Assistance Center, the Iowa Department of Education has committed to ensuring all of its school bus drivers are trained to effectively address bullying. And today, the Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, chaired by one of us, Tom Harkin, will hold a hearing in Des Moines, where Russlynn Ali, U.S. Department of Education assistant secretary for civil rights, will testify on the issue of bullying.
Both of us know through long experiences working in and with schools that keeping students safe is one of the toughest and most important challenges faced by any school district. We see school safety as both a moral and a practical issue.”
To read the full article, click here.