Southfield (CW50) – What we know as “bullying” has been present in our society and schools for generations. As the years go by, more focus is put on on to prevent “bullying” from occurring. This focus has been met with challenges, like the creation and growth of social media, that bring an entirely new factor how we combat the behaviors that lead to “bullying.”

Community Connect Host Lisa Germani, with Nancy Buyle, School Safety/Student Assistance Consultant, Macomb Intermediate School District

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Nancy Buyle, School Safety and Student Assistance Consultant at Macomb Intermediate Schools District, joins Lisa Germani on Community Connect to talk about her role inside the school, and how what she teaches is used to help build a better learning environment for students within schools.

Buyle’s main work is focused on training teachers on how to best build an environment like this, and what can be done to prevent behaviors that lead to bullying. An environment that looks at kindness and compassion to help prevent the behaviors that lead to bullying, rather than solely looking for when bullying occurs and reacting to it.

“You get what you focus on,” says Buyle.

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What she means is that if schools focus only on how they handle someone who is a bully or is only looking for mistreatment of others, then that’s all they’re going to find. Instead, an added focus should be put on looking for ways to create a culture and environment within a school that helps students feel safe and shines a light on things that help students show compassion and kindness, and in turn, that’s what will grow.

Buyle also talked about the challenges with labelling someone a “bully” and how that has also contributed to what leads to these behaviors.

She also defined what constitutes “bullying” by mentioning that there is intentional mistreatment towards another, there’s an imbalance of power between the two parties, and that there is repetition in the acts.

It’s a topic that has changed and gotten more detailed as the years go by, and there may never be a time when bullying is completely eliminated from our schools, but the work that’s being done continues to help many students across the country, and as more schools start to shift their focus away from reacting and putting it towards being proactive, then our schools will feel safer for students.

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