Manchester, Michigan Community Schools to Begin Anti-bullying Program for Grades K-8 in 2013-14 School Year

July 29, 2013 by Sharen McArthur

In addition to their academic lessons in the 2013-14 school year, students in grades K-8 in Manchester, Michigan, will meet with teachers daily to help change the culture and climate of bullying in their schools.

School officials at Klager Elementary School and Manchester Middle Schools will use the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program to teach students ways to prevent bullying.

According to its website, the Olweus Prevention Program is for students ages five to 15 years old. It is designed to improve peer relations and make schools safe and positive places for students to learn and develop. The program helps teachers and students define and identify bullying, reduce existing bullying among students, prevent the development of new bullying problems, and achieve better peer relations at school.

According to an April article in The Manchester Enterprise, school officials want to give “disengaged bystanders the tools to become defenders to help stop the act from occurring.” In the article, Shanna Spickard, middle school principal, said, “Research shows that it’s the bystanders that make or break a bullying situation. We can preach it but when their peers are telling them that this isn’t cool that is what really matters.”

Superintendent Cherie Vannatter noted that the program not only will be taught at the schools, but it will also include parental and community involvement.

Visit to read more about how Manchester Community Schools plan to implement the bullying prevention program.

To learn about a community based approach to bullying, visit

Engage youth to take a stand against bullying in their schools using social media at

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