Based on the 2011 Ottawa County Youth Assessment Survey, 24.6 percent of the county's students indicated they had been bullied in the past 12 months.
“The more we talk about problems, the better we are at dealing with them,” Tiret said.
The MSU Extension office hosted a workshop Thursday night to discuss bullying in community settings. Throughout the workshop at the Ottawa County Fillmore Street Complex, a handful of residents looked over a curriculum created by the MSU Extension service that aims to provide understanding of the impacts of bullying and ways to assist someone targeted by a bully. Recommended methods include: stay calm, put safety first, remove the targeted person away from the situation and make it clear the hurtful behaviors aren’t supported.
People often think of bullies and their targets as middle or high school students, but the behavior begins earlier, Tiret said.
“It crosses all age scopes,” she said.
Grand Haven resident Janet Wiessner, who works at Little Lakers Learning Center in Spring Lake, said the workshop counts toward required training hours for the day care center.
Although she has yet to personally deal with bullying, Wiessner said she hoped Thursday’s workshop would provide her and others with ways to prevent it. She said it’s an issue that adults need to step up and take control.
“It’s not something we should put up with,” Wiessner said.
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