Lansing schools get a handle on bullying

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LANSING- Bullying is an issue that can be hard to resolve, but Lansing Community Schools have developed systems to reduce altercations between students.

Schools in Lansing have discovered that the most effective way to reduce bullying is helping kids address the problem hands on. This has helped stop it before it gets too out of hand.

 Student counselor Pierre Baithazar at Eastern High School said his school has developed a system in place to reason with both sides of the fighting party.

“We have a system called the system of justice. The system of justice brings the two fighters together and has them look at differences and damages one has done to the other one as a result of their actions.” Baithazar said.

 At Fairview Elementary School, principal Terry Baker said they very rarely deal with bullying because they have a firm policy on it. He schedules a number of assemblies to talk about the effects of bullying and the consequences of it.

“The district and the state has taken a more recent stand on bullying,” Baker said. “They have different expectations for us so we follow suit with alerting parents to it, dealing with it quickly and working with students, counseling and remediation.”

Baker added that if he notices problems developing, he meets with the students weekly until the problem is resolved. This strategy has been very successful in resolving issues.

Bullying happens among boys and girls no matter the age. The fights can be short, or they can happen over an extended period of time.

 “At our school, it’s commonly seen that bullying carries over from the middle school because that’s where they all know each other and it doesn’t get addressed and it grows,” Baithazar said. “With things like facebook and twitter, it can become an epidemic.”

Since the new systems have been enforced, high suspension rates for Eastern High School have decreased and Fairview Elementary School continues to have rare problems with bullying.

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