Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | MAY 06, 2015 5:00 AM

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Don’t delay on bullying legislation

It is hard to believe, but bipartisan efforts to get serious about bullying are stalled in the Iowa Legislature.

When will Iowans finally say we won’t take this anymore?  When will we agree we will do anything and everything to try to help children in our schools?

Some people say there were always bullies and there will always be bullies. That attitude is mistaken.  Here’s how things have changed, making life for bullied children worse than ever.

There wasn’t always Facebook.  There wasn’t always Twitter, Instagram and all the other social media channels.  These are 24-hour places that our children have access to and with which parents have little contact and no control.

When you and I were bullied as kids, we went home and maybe went to our rooms to pout.  Maybe we’d skip dinner, saying we didn’t feel well. Today, kids that are bullied can’t even find relief in their own rooms.  Thanks to social media, the hurtful lies and attacks that torture them day in and day out at school follow them home.

That’s why the Iowa Senate voted 45 to 7 for a strong anti-bullying bill that will make a difference.  Governor Branstad likes it and says he will sign it. 

Unfortunately, the leaders of the Iowa House don’t want to help.  They refuse to debate legislation that will reduce the number of Iowa kids choosing suicide to get away from today’s unescapable bullying. 

There are probably seventy-five votes in the House who would support this bipartisan anti-bullying bill, but a handful of Representatives have decided: “No, we don’t debate it.  We’ll talk about it next year, maybe.”

And Iowans will bury more of our children.

Well it’s not good enough for me, and it shouldn’t be good enough for you. There is plenty of time to resolve any disagreements with this legislation, but you can’t solve a disagreement if you don’t sit down and talk about it.

I’m asking Iowans to urge the men and women who represent them in the Iowa House to demand a vote on the anti-bullying bill. 

Bullying can be a life or death issue.  This spring, Iowa should help our children who need help.

State Sen. Tony Bisignano

Climate change shouldn’t be a political debate

As I was growing up, my parents tried to make me aware about the environment and climate change. They weren’t always direct about it, but they made sure that I knew to recycle what I could and turn off the lights when I wasn’t in the room. We would also plant trees, flowers, and bushes in our yard. Last year, I took an environmental science class, which opened my eyes even more about climate change.

With the caucus coming up, it is important that we think about the environment and what its future will be if climate change continues at its current rate. Most of the climate change is coming from humans, but there are ways that we can reduce our impacts on the climate. For example, if we use more renewable energy sources we will be able to cut down on a lot of our pollution. I’m getting involved in NextGen Climate at Iowa because I want to help make people aware that we can still do things to slow climate change, and prevent even bigger changes from happening.

Climate change has become a political debate, when in reality it shouldn’t be. Scientists say that climate change is happening. So why are there people in our government, who aren’t scientists, denying that climate change isn’t an issue?  As the caucus approaches, we should be asking the candidates for their opinions on climate change and make that a factor for who we will vote for. We only have one planet, and we need to take care of it.

Allison Nemecek

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