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Iowa lawmakers debate anti-bullying bills

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Bullying victims, school superintendents and other officials told Iowa lawmakers Thursday that anti-bullying bills wouldn’t solve every problem but would make a big difference to many students.

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Subcommittees in the state House and Senate took up the bills, both of which would require that parents be notified if school officials learn their children have been bullied. The bills also would require that administrators and teachers be given training for responding to and preventing bullying, and they would let officials respond to cases of cyberbullying away from school because such actions affect students at school.

Sen. Robert Hogg, D-Cedar Rapids, said establishing a safe and healthy environment for students in schools translates to a safe and healthy state. The legislation is one way to establish such an environment, he said.