Principal responds to videos of bullying caught on camera

Local News

EAST LANSING, MICH. (WLNS) — New cell phone video of bullying at a middle school has surfaced. It’s the second video 6 News has received in less than a week.

Principal Amy Martin at MacDonald Middle School said she is disheartened this happened, but said these two instances do not reflect how the majority of conflicts are handled between her students.

“Almost 100% of the time our students get up and they hug, they fist bump and they say they apologize, they walk away feeling better that it’s been resolved,” Martin said

Martin said it’s rare when a conflict boils over as seen in the cell phone video. Bullying was first brought to our attention last Friday. We received cell phone video of two students fighting in the classroom.

Now this week, another video. It shows a group of students following one other student through the hall way in front of teachers. The girl tries to walk away from the group, but later gets hit and pushed down.

Martin said, “900 students at the end of the day, it’s not orderly always walking out of the building. It didn’t appear that there was anything that need intervention.”

These students family members told us they are concerned.

“We’re gonna have incidents unfortunately that we don’t want to have happen,” said Martin. “We are working tirelessly to be more proactive with our message.”

This includes restorative practices. It’s a new way the school is using to handle conflicts. It’s shifting them away from expelling and suspending students.

Student success coach Patrick McKennon said this an example, “The other student was sent home for three days, my concern as a parent would be well what happens on the fourth day because nothing was solved.”

This is where restorative justice and practices comes in, “With using our words and seeing perspective from the other person,” Martin said.

“It’s been really amazing to see how they can work things out between themselves when given an opportunity to do so,” said McKennon.

Martin said, “It’s hard work, but it’s the right work.”

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