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A 'Bullying' Summit in Lansing

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A couple hundred school counselors…mental health professionals and social workers are meeting today in Lansing.   They’re in town to discuss what can be done to reduce bullying in Michigan’s schools.

Paul Liabenow says people understand that bullying is not just about “mean girls being mean” or “bad boys will grow out of it”.

Liabenow is the executive director of the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association.

He says efforts in recent years to address bullying in schools are working.

“I’m not suggesting that we’re going to eliminate bullying in schools or communities in the near future. But we are having a positive impact,” says Liabenow.

Liabenow says ‘Matt’s Law’ which was passed in 2011 is helping schools address the problem of bullying.  The law requires schools to adopt bullying awareness programs and anti-bullying policies.

He says some schools have found the law is cumbersome to follow, but its working.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette told the conference attendees it’s important not to forget the dangers posed by ‘Cyber bullying’.   

In addition to numerous seminars, the conference attendees also had a chance to review anti-bullying videos designed for different grade levels to show why bullying is wrong and can be destructive.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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