Keeping Kids Safe in School is Focus of Bullying Summit

By  | 

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette spoke to students, teachers and school administrators during the Michigan School Safety and Bullying Prevention Summit at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing.

The Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association organizes the summit, which helps school leaders develop strategies for dealing with bullying in an ever-changing world of technology.

Students from across the state attended the event. Many, know what it feels like to be the target of a classmate's anger. Talaysia Stanley, a junior at the International Academy of Flint, says it hurts. "You feel very low. Your self esteem gets lower, and you become very afraid."

Students say they will take their knowledge back to their classmates, and work to get rid of bullying. Erin Hamilton, a senior at the International Academy of Flint says, "Often times the bully is the one who is hurting the most so if you can kind of figure out what happened to the bully then you can help them so that they won't harm people."

As part of the summit, some students performed a skit, honoring those who were bullied and chose suicide as a way out.

Joann Spry, Superintendent of Cadillac Area Public Schools says it's tough for all stakeholders in the schools to stay on top of bullying. "It is so much more challenging today, because of the social media perspective out there that, for students it's a 24/7phenomenon."

State Attorney General Bill Schuette talked to students about the state's new tip line which rolls out next fall. Using an app, a phone, or a text, students will be able to report, anonymously things that might threaten their safety."

Bill Schuette, Michigan Attorney General says, "If we can prevent the loss of one life, from bullying or suicide, or some type of a violent attack, then Michigan's school safety initiative "Okay to Say" will be a success."

Sam Denman, a junior at Cadillac High School believes it can only help. "I think its going to be very successful, because its anonymous and that will protect people. I think that's the main reason people don't go out with that information is because they're just afraid."