Bullying prevention experts lead community conversation in Marquette

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 6:08 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Educators, counselors and families have a new set of tools to address bullying in schools thanks to a presentation Tuesday evening at the Peter White Public Library.

Dr. Amanda Nickerson is the director of the Alberti Center for Bully Abuse Prevention at the University of Buffalo. She was one of two main speakers at the first Community Conversations presentation series.

The talk was for current and future educators, counselors and resource providers to help bullying prevention.

“I hope that they are better able to identify what bullying is,” Nickerson said. “And approach their students and classrooms in a way that will help create an environment where it is less likely to happen.”

Nickerson says she hopes the future educators in the audience walk away with a new mindset.

“I just hope that some of what I shared can help put more tools in the toolbox and help people think about something differently,” Nickerson said.

On Tuesday, Michigan State Board of Education Secretary Tiffany Tilley also gave a presentation about using empathy as a teacher.

“We need to talk to our students more and we have to concentrate on academics but not just academics, but we have to concentrate on them as a whole child,” Tilley said. “They are human beings, what are they feeling, what are they thinking? We need to be able to know these things so we know how to better teach them and better help them.”

Tilley says the state board of education is going to promote more strategies aimed at helping students.

“More programming you will see coming through [is] for social, emotional, learning and teaching students those skills of self-awareness, compassion, empathy, and how to process their emotions,” Tilley said.

The library’s Community Conversations series continues tomorrow night at 7 p.m. with a presentation focused on mental health in children.

Visit the State of Michigan’s website for more resources on bullying prevention.