NIT – An anti-bullying bill became controversial after Republicans added an amendment that would require school districts to display the motto “in God we trust” prominently in every school building in Iowa.
Republicans want the motto to be displayed by artwork produced by students after the district holds an art contest. It wasn’t immediately clear how Republicans think the art contest ties into bullying.
Iowa Democrats slammed the bill known as the “Bully Free Iowa Act of 2014” Wednesday via social media, saying that House File 2409 is a “Republican plan to stop bullying” by putting up “a plaque or have a coloring contest.”
The bill grants school officials the authority to investigate and impose school discipline or take other action in cases of alleged incidents of harassment or bullying, including cyberbullying, that occur outside of school, if certain conditions are met.
The bill was introduced in the House on February 25th and placed on calendar. A series of amendments have since been added, including the amendment by Republicans to hold an art contest incorporating the “In God We Trust” motto.
According to Representative Sharon Steckman, this anti-bullying bill will likely not get far, due to about 15 proposed amendments and no funding.
“I am hopeful we get the Senate bill over here soon…it has funding, training etc.,” she said.