Iowa district now aims anti-bullying programs at workplace

By Meagan Sexton
Excerpt from Sioux City Journal
SIOUX CITY — The Sioux City Community School District wants to practice what it teaches by developing an anti-bullying program for adults.

The district already has a program in place for students, but this week, about 20 district employees, including teachers, janitors, administrators and counselors, gathered at the Northwest Area Education Agency to brainstorm and create a bullying-prevention program for themselves and their co-workers.

The district is the first in the nation to launch an anti-bullying program with advocates trained to hear complaints from employees, according to the Workplace Bullying Institute in Bellingham, Wash., which is partnering with the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention in North Sioux City to provide training.

A trained advocate can mediate disputes in an effort to resolve them without a reprimand or forward them to district officials for further action.

Sioux City Education Association president Bruce Lear said workplace bullying is a problem in every work environment and trying to stop it before it happens is the best approach.

“This provides a vehicle to address something that’s long been unaddressed,” Lear said. “We’re unique in the idea that we’re willing to try to do something before it happens.”

Cindy Waitt of the Waitt Institute said open discussion about workplace bullying is a recent phenomenon. Full story.


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