Monroe Public Schools trying to be proactive against bullying with “Peer Mistreatment” expert

Leaders with Monroe Public Schools are trying to take a proactive approach against bullying after losing a student to suicide in April.
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 11:27 PM EDT
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MONROE, Michigan (WTVG) - Leaders with Monroe Public Schools are trying to take a proactive approach against bullying, after tragically losing a student to suicide back in April.

The school district is moving forward this school year after Superintendent, Andrew Shaw, says they were steps behind in the past when it came to addressing what he is calling “peer-to-peer mistreatment”.

“In our district, we knew we had peer-to-peer mistreatment happening, and we were working on always addressing it, but we were addressing it after the fact, after the fact,” said Shaw.

It was in April when MPS lost 13-year-old student Gary Ross to suicide.

The tragedy shocked the community and pushed school leaders to hire an expert to come in and properly train everyone, from staff to students, on how to handle bullying.

“It was like, we have to do something. We have to do something big but what we’re going to do has to also be sustainable,” said Shaw.

“There are core components to my process, it is a systemic change process and it is evidence-based, and those schools that have taken the evidence research and they’ve actually applied it, have tremendous improvement in kid’s behavior,” said licensed psychologist Marcia McEvoy. “This has multiple prongs. Staff, students, and parents, and they all need to be kind of educated about this whole process.”

McEvoy says she will be walking the halls of the district through October. 13 Action News looks forward to checking in with the district on its progress.

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