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Portage Schools holds forum on bullying


PORTAGE (WKZO) -- Portage School officials sponsored a forum on teen bullies last night and on teen suicide, which often results from bullying behavior.

They outlined how to recognize when your child might be a bully, and when your child may be a victim. They also outlined what parents need to do to combat cyber-bullying.

Principal Jim French says parents need to monitor their child’s on-line habits, know their passwords and keep up on their communications.

Counselor Amy Dimaggio says it was the kind of presentation that staff and teachers usually see. She says they all need to be on the same page.

They say it could save lives, and while the problem isn’t any worse in Portage schools or any less significant, they want to take the initiative to combat it.

One Michigan community has taken a cruel act of bullying and turned it on its ear. Whitney Kropp was voted onto the Homecoming Court as a joke, something engineered by a group of students to ridicule and embarrass her. When she first heard, she was elated, but then she found out thru social media that it was not because she was popular.

For a while Whitney says she felt suicidal and unworthy. Then Whitney rallied, and friends put together a facebook page and local businesses got behind her, donating a yellow prom dress and a beauty shop will be donating their services to make sure she is a stunner Friday night.

Ogemaw Heights School officials won’t discussing their plans for the kids behind the bullying, but under new state laws, they cannot ignore it.