(WLNS) – Michigan’s battle to end bullying is far from over. A study released Wednesday shows Michigan was the 8th worst state in 2013 for controlling bullying.
Senator Rick Jones, who has worked on anti-bullying legislation, saw this coming.
“I’m really not surprised. I’ve had numerous mothers in my office, talking about how their children had to be taken out of school, put into a private school at great cost, because they were bullied,” said Senator Rick Jones, (r), Grand Ledge.
The study was conducted by WalletHub.com and it’s unique because it specifically looks at the financial impact of bullying.
“In Michigan for instance, the cost of truancy caused by bullying for schools, whether that’s missed absences, things like suing, or other problems that do, are caused by bullying, it’s almost $10 million,” said Jill Gonzales, WalletHub.com.
Bullying was so expensive for Michigan because it ranked third for the percentage of students cyberbullied and fourth for the percentage of students bullied on school property.
It’s an issue the Lansing School District is already addressing.
“We convened a team of individuals, the support staff, and they are actually our steering committee who have been working to respond,” said Karlin Tichenor, Lansing School District.
The school district is partnering with the city of Lansing in new initiatives to make sure both bullies and victims receive the help they need.
“We can all be a target, we can all be a transgressor, If we are aware of how that can affect everyone, then we can respond to support all the needs of our students.”
It’s a solution that can be psychologically and financially beneficial. The states with the lowest number of bullying cases have anti- bullying laws and policies in place.
Michigan’s numbers could improve since a cyber-bullying clause was recently added to “Matt’s Safe School Law.”