Bullying incident at Carman-Ainsworth school leads to positive change

Published: Nov. 18, 2019 at 4:28 PM EST
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(11/18/19) -- Two teachers at Dye Elementary School in Flint Township are being credited with diffusing a bullying incident in a positive light between two third grade girls.

Fourth grade teacher Kathryn Croteau got wind that a third grade girl was being bullied by another third grader Friday.

"We do not have a tolerance for bullying in our school and we teach our children to speak up," Croteau said.

She and another teacher wasted no time adhering to their zero tolerance policy. The teachers pulled the girl that was bullying from class and talked to her about why it's not OK to pick on someone else.

"She started to have a breakthrough and said I'm really sorry, I knew it was bad so I stopped," Croteau said.

But not others. That's when Croteau found out there was a "I hate so and so" club that others were a part of. She and the other teacher had the entire class form a circle.

"She asked the classroom to raise their hand if they've been bullied and almost every kid in the classroom raised their hand, and they all looked at each other and you could just start to see things turning for them," Croteau said.

They were proud moments not just for Croteau and the other teacher, but Principal Detra Fields.

"What I've seen from classes that really take those circles seriously, it really changes the culture of the classroom and it changes the culture of the school," Fields said.

She added that it was the quick action of the teachers that prevented the bullying situation from becoming worse.

"Other people matter. And it's not just about you, it's about how your actions, words, thoughts will impact other people," Fields said.

Both girls are now friends.

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