HMS students honored by Iowa's governor, lieutenant governor - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

HMS students honored by Iowa's governor, lieutenant governor

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad congratulated middle schoolers from Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn at a ceremony Tuesday. Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad congratulated middle schoolers from Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn at a ceremony Tuesday.

Back in the fall, this school bus provided seventh-grader Amanda Recher with a lot of inspiration.

"We took probably a few times to figure out where to put it, but then we figured that a lot of people get bullied on the bus at HMS," said Recher.

Her classmates say a lot of bullying happens here, since no adults can hear it, or see it.

"The seventh graders sit all the way in the back, so the bus driver can't hear what you're saying," said Decker.

"There is a lot of bullying that goes on. A lot of name-calling a lot of punches, a lot of bad texts," said Peyton Petersen, a 7th grader.

But after winning a statewide contest, and earning nearly 35,000 on-line views of their video, these classmates agree, the PSA is working.

"There's not so much any more after what the video made. It made people think on how they affect other people on their bullying," said Recher.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad agrees. The group from HMS Middle School won his anti-bullying PSA contest in Des Moines in November. He promised he and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds would make this trip up to recognize the students.

"I've got a proclamation that I'm going to be and just acknowledge and thank them and just thank them for their leadership in this very important issue," said Branstad.

Branstad says bullying is still prevalent, but he says more cases are being reported now, and students are standing up for one another.

"They have scars. It's not a good experience for people," said Recher.

So, Branstad hopes those bullying summits set a good trend for the future.

"What we found at the summit is that it's really more effective when it's peer to peer. And when you have students participating in and helping to deliver the message, I think that really has great impact," said Reynolds.

And that's something Branstad hopes they continue to learn, as his push to stop bullying in Iowa continues.

Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn's video was one of 23 entered in the contest. The students competed against middle school-age peers and high schoolers.

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