Dubuque Schools see 79% decrease in bullying reports over past four years

DUBUQUE, IA – Reports of bullying and harassment in the Dubuque Community School District are the lowest they’ve been in over six years.

From career simulations to digital footprints, eighth graders at Washington Middle School learn a lot to prepare them for the future in their Financial Literacy class.

Technology Coach Amy Mozena believes there is a lot to cover in digital literacy courses like this one.

As a parent and educator, Mozena knows the importance of teaching students about the dangers of cyberspace.

She said, “If it’s not something you would say to someone directly, it’s probably not appropriate to send in a text or comment on social media somewhere.” 

In a technology driven world, one might think cyber bullying is more common among teens, but Mae Hingtgen of the Dubuque Community School District says otherwise.

Cyber bullying is present. You know I’m certainly not going to say it’s not,” remarked Hingtgen, “but I don’t think we have more kids who engage in bullying behavior just because there’s technology.”

In fact, the district has seen a 79% decrease in bullying complaints over the past four years.

“I think everyone understands that often bullying is under reported because a child might fear retaliation or fear of the bullying turning on their friends,” added Hingtgen. 

While knowing the drawbacks, Hingtgen is still happy with the efforts the district has taken to combat cyber bullying.

The district believes the decline of harassment reports has a lot to do with the Green Dot initiative the district put in place in 2011. This program focuses on training and educating kids on how to respond to bullying both as a victim and as a bystander.

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Kelly is a junior at Loras College majoring in Media Studies and minoring in Public Relations and Business. Kelly is the Executive Producer for LCTV News and served as the Associate Producer for three semesters prior. Kelly is currently a Marketing Intern at Cartegraph.

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