War Eagle Youth Summit brings students together to address critical issues
Students from seven schools in the War Eagle conference took part in Friday's summit.
HAWARDEN, Iowa (KTIV) -
The War Eagle Youth Summit brought out students to tackle issues they are most concerned with including bullying, racism, and alcohol abuse.
"We create a team identity on campuses. These student leaders serve to build a group that other student can feel a sense of belonging to. And, that builds a community that literally leads the charge against these critical issues," Speaker John Vandenburgh said.
West Sioux High School's PLUS team, which stands for Peer Leaders Uniting Students, organized their first annual summit for schools in their conference. Seven schools took part. West Sioux's PLUS team said the main problem they see in their schools is bullying.
"I have been bullied and I have seen people getting bullied and I have done something to help them," West Sioux Junior and PLUS Team Member Calena Topete said.
"Most of the time when I have students come in to my classroom and complain of bullying, it's because of something that started on Facebook or started on Twitter first, and then it spills in to the classroom the next day," West Sioux At-Risk Coordinator Laura Hensley said.
"On the internet, I've had very rude comments or mostly rumors. I just felt horrible about myself. I just think, 'why would somebody say that about me,'" Akron-Westfield Senior Bethany Eastman said.
Hensley said there are ways to make a change.
"I believe the solution is changing the culture of how kids treat kids," Hensley said.
And, many students said they plan to take solutions and strategies learned at the summit back to their respective schools.
West Sioux High School's PLUS team said they plan to hold these kind of summits for each grade in their school by the end of the year.