A youth survey conducted last year showed that 41 percent of Marshalltown students surveyed had been bullied in the last 30 days. Eleven percent of those students said they didn’t go to school because they felt unsafe at school or on their way to and from school.

Marshalltown community leaders say they’re taking a stand against bullying – before tragedy strikes. “We want to send a message that we don’t want this in our town,” said Matt Tullis, equity director with the Marshalltown Community School District and a member of the new anti-bullying effort. “As a community we don’t want something tragic to happen and then do something. We want to be proactive.”

The theme of the effort is “Not In Our Town” which is based on a national movement to counter hate in communities. A core of group of more than 25 community leaders representing local businesses, law enforcement, schools and government are working toward securing national speakers and community events as part of the initiative.

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