Dubuque Piece of Me campaign battles bullying - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque Piece of Me campaign battles bullying


An anti-bullying conference in Des Moines last November has resulted in new legislation to combat bullying. The conference was hosted by the Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. More than 1,200 Iowans attended the governor's bullying prevent summit, at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines to discuss how to better address bullying.

The proposed bill helps schools better protect student from bullying by addressing the growing problems of cyber-bullying while respecting free-speech rights. Spearheading the effort to update Iowa code was the school administrators of Iowa and the Iowa department of education.

Sunday in Dubuque, a Dubuque woman was trying to do her part in helping spread anti-bullying awareness. Ashley Melchert is founder of the pieces of me campaign, a photo campaign designed to help others take a stand against bullying. They say a picture is worth a thousand words...but with a blindfold and a pen, a picture is worth so much more.

"The campaign is just people taking a visual stance against bullying." Melchert said.

During the piece of me campaign photographs are taken of individuals with blindfolds.

"There is another photo campaign for gay rights it's called the ‘NOH8 Campaign. That's where I kind of got the idea for the photo campaign. The blindfolds came into it because we wanted to show that labels should not be put on people." Melchert said.

The idea for the campaign stemmed from a not so picture perfect world.

"In high school I was bullied because I was a bigger girl, and I even had a nickname in high school because I wasn't the most attractive apparently. So in my picture I used "size 10" because that's the size I am and I kind of just shot it back at the people that bullied me." said Melchert.

David Hamilton and his son David took the campaign as father/son bonding.

"It's something we can do together. Opportunities like this don't come along very often, so we jumped right in." Hamilton said.

He hopes the campaign will spread awareness about prevention.

"My son really had a little problem a few years back where things could have gotten out of hand but they were stop. So, yes there is a problem here in Dubuque." Hamilton said.

Melchert hopes the photos will allow others to take action against bullying. Photos taken at the piece of me campaign in Dubuque are available on their website and Facebook page

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