Branstad’s bullying prevention office has zero funds

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Pupils friends teasing a pupil alone

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Nearly one year after Gov. Terry Branstad announced the creation of a bullying prevention office, the program has no designated dollars and relies on inconsistent funding.

Documents show the Governor’s Office for Bullying Prevention at the University of Northern Iowa has received no private grants since launching in September 2015.

The office offers some programming, but the lack of clear or consistent funding raises questions about its long-term effectiveness in addressing statewide bullying and harassment.

UNI’s Center for Violence Prevention oversees the office. The center had at least $68,000 available in private grants for the budget year that began in July, but most of the money is earmarked for efforts related to sexual assault prevention and relationship abuse.

Branstad cited budget constraints in January for not recommending state dollars to the office.

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