Community-wide effort needed to tackle bullying in mid-Michigan


HOLT, MI (WLNS) – It’s a shocking video of a mid-Michigan junior high student bullying another student and it’s gone viral.

“I’m going to beat the (expletive) crap out of you. You’re a joke. No one’s going to stop me because I will.”

The video was posted on our station’s Facebook page this past weekend and has gained close to 400,000 views since.

“You have no say to be telling everyone that I sent (expletive) to you.”

It’s something Hornak say needs to be addressed by the entire community.

“We need everyone to step in, speak up and get help when they see acts of bullying in the future,” said Hornak.

Especially adults who Hornak says play a pivotal role when it comes teaching their kids what’s right and what’s wrong.

“We are as adults role models we need to be acting appropriately and with respect and again it’s going to take all of us to make a difference,” said Hornak.

Kevin Epling Co-Director of Bully Police USA lost his own son Matt to bullying in 2002.

Since then he helped develop Matt’s Law requiring every school district in Michigan to have an anti-bullying policy.

Epling says policies are a start, but when it comes to tackling the problem, schools need to change their climate.

“When you have a lot of kids standing by and not assisting and saying hey we don’t do that in our school, that’s an education gap,” said Epling.

It’s a climate that should include everyone.

“From the superintendent down to the custodian are all working on one plan of how they’re going to improve the climate and students have to be a part of that as well,” said Epling.

And for superintendent Hornak he understands change will take time but he’s willing to put in the work.

“Do we have work to do absolutely but I’m hopeful moving forward we can improve,” said Hornak.

As for the video the superintendent is investigating but because of student privacy they can’t reveal any specific steps they’ve taken.

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