You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 11:24 a.m.

Student who spread anti-bullying message is assaulted at Milan High School

By Staff

A student who was assaulted at school last week has written a column for the Milan News-Leader in which she describes being attacked by a girl who she said had been bullying her since last year. Alyssa Stuart, a student at Milan High School, writes for the News-Leader and has written in the past about the issue of bullying. According to the News-Leader, Stuart is recovering at home after being assaulted in school on Thursday.

To read the Milan News-Leader article about the attack and Stuart's column, click here.



Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 2:52 a.m.

Lets get real people, those of you who have children know that it ALWAYS takes 2 to tango. I suggest you get all the facts before you pass judgement on the accused bully. I mean really folks how many times can you poke a dog before you get bit? My father always told me dont let your alligator mouth over load your kitty cat hind end. Im not saying that what took place was in any way acceptable, But maybe if we stop giving kids trophies for just showing up and let our children learn that its ok to fail at times it builds character and teaches them a little bit of humility and integrity and most of all it teaches them to get back up on there own, those people who stand up for themselves are often labled as bullys and little is ever said or investigated on why it happened, there are 2 sides to every story and I suggest we get both sides and base or verdict on the facts rather than what others say or print. In closing it has always been my experience that the guilty cry first.


Tue, Feb 28, 2012 : 1:59 a.m.

Kids need to learn ways to defend and stand up for themselves - great practice for the real world. Won't always be able to count on Mom and Dad or the Principal, or the police for that matter . Handle your business. It's very simple, really. It's worked for untold millions over the years.


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 10:30 p.m.

I love to see the people who bullied me in high school around town. Almost without exception they are now under achieving losers working dead end jobs and going to the Heidleberg or Charlies to hit on college chicks on the weekend. It's usually so sad I'm not even mad they were a jerk in High School.


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 5:15 p.m.

Bullying is a natural behavior, and it is a very usual behavior among primates. It is a learned behavior though, and can be prevented. It seems that bigger primates pick on smaller/younger, and the smaller/younger pick on the smaller/younger, and so on. In the video I posted shows a baboon troop who had done just what I'm talking about. Please Watch, and you will see a pack of Baboons, who used to bully each other and after they lost the alpha males the troop became a non-bullying group. <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;feature=related</a>


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 7:12 p.m.

Well did you watch the video, and no they have not, obviously!


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 6:46 p.m.

Hopefully humans have evolved a little beyond primates?


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 5:15 p.m.

The school should not be held responsible for handling this. The responsible people are the kids parents! Wshere are the parents in this?


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 10:45 p.m.

@dennis Absolutely!! 100% Punish the child and punish the parents--they obviously don't do a very good job of raising their children.


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 10:31 p.m.

so you are saying that if a kid assaults another kid in school we should punish the parents?


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 1:36 p.m.

This is a case where I'd like to see the media name the attacker. She doesn't deserve privacy, and neither does the family that brought her up to attack other students.


Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 2:54 a.m.

You need help!


Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 2:05 a.m.

Let me tell you something Seldon, I am the mother of the alleged bully and this was a situation that went both ways. This girl was as guilty of talking about my child as my child was talking about her. There was never physical violence before this day. My family is someone you would see at the soccer fields on a Saturday afternoon or in a pew next to you at church. We are not some horrible monsters. This is what happens when they dont let the facts come out in a story. Isn't it funny how there is only one side in this article. So before you start bad talking people and there families know that this could have just as easily been your child that allowed their emotions get away from them.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 8:55 p.m.

A significant part of the problem schools face in dealing with bullies comes from gutless school boards and principals and political correctness run amok. Violent kids have no &quot;right&quot; to or place in main-stream school classrooms, yet a fear of baseless litigation, misguided state law and policies that prioritize costs savings above all else make it hard to kick anybody out of school. Principals must be able to kick kids out of school, permanently if needed, and know they will be backed up by school boards and the law, if it gets that far. Many of our public schools have become nothing more than half-way houses, and no one is willing to do what is necessary to change things. The days of &quot;special&quot; schools for kids who are too disruptive/violent/etc. need to return, and the parents of those kids should be the ones held responsible.


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 4:41 p.m.

Parents need to be more on board with what the law states and what can be expected from the school system. Then they need to let the principal know you know what is expected and if anything happens? You will be in their office. I do know Ann Arbor has a PTO Arbitration board that can be used when parents feel their issues are not being heard by the school staff.

say it plain

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 10:10 p.m.

That's why I'd hope that a start might come with legislation clearly counting assault as an expulsion-worthy act. Cost-savings these days includes suggesting more on-line classes. Maybe public schools can now suggest that kids with &quot;emotional control&quot; issues (or however they talk about the irredeemably disruptive or violent) use these new &quot;options&quot;?! Instead, without real policies prohibiting bullying, it is often the kids who get harassed who end up looking for options outside the building. And the culture of nastiness continues. Which drives more families *out* of the public schools, so it's really not such a great bottom-line idea for them to live in fear of the baseless lawsuit. The school boards and administrators should be leading the call for anti-bullying policies *with teeth* to combat the dysfunctional school cultures that can evolve when we pretend it doesn't matter how kids treat each other. Can you imagine a workplace where assault and harassment is treated as it often is in public schools?! Imagine going to the management and complaining and getting a &quot;well you know, the employees here can be like that, just deal with it&quot; attitude. If someone's going to have to start &quot;working from home&quot; it seems that the ones who don't play well with others ought to go, no?! Most kids really want a tolerant school culture, and almost all kids want to feel safe from assault at their schools, but not too many feel safe enough to stand up to bullies or become 'allies' with the bullied when they cannot count on the adults to stand up to the bullies themselves. The 'strategy' ends up becoming just keeping a low profile and hoping you don't become the next target or, worse, subtly endorsing the bullying. We can teach tolerance, that's great. And kids need to learn how to be respectful of each other. But I think it might be an amazingly effective anti-bullying strategy to show that assault and harassment can get you expelled.

Kathleen Kosobud

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 8:20 p.m.

I was privileged to see a preview of Bully at the Learning Disabilities Association of America's conference. This film follows several teens as they are tormented by their peers in school, on the bus, and out in the communities in which they live. An interview with the director can be read here: <a href="," rel='nofollow'>,</a> and a petition is now circulating to have the MPAA reconsider the R-rating given to the film here: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> (the rating was because the teens used swear-words in the film; either as bullies or in the reporting of bullying). One of the panelists at the LDA of America screening encouraged children who witness bullying to approach the student who is being bullied and tell him/her that the incident was witnessed, and that they are on the side of the victim. By becoming visible allies of the victims, children can help to change the school climate. Nevertheless, school personnel also need to play a part in changing the culture of a school so that bullying is challenged and is made so unacceptable that incidents are reduced and ultimately extinguished. Materials published online by Teaching Tolerance are a good place to start with anti-bullying curricula for all age groups (<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>. Kathleen Kosobud Past President, LDA of Michigan

David Briegel

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 7:40 p.m.

It truly is asking an awfull lot of our Parents and Teachers to demand and expect our children to behave as civilized human beings.


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 4:38 p.m.

More like what are the parents thinking when they let children like this loose on society. Children will do and act as we expect them to be. Trust you me. This child would never have gotten this far with mine. Good luck to both sides.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 7:07 p.m.

Schools have a responsibility to keep students safe. And students have a right to defend them selves against violence from bullies. Whatever it takes.


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 4:36 p.m.

Amen. But they need to feel like they can talk to an adult without fear of condemnation. Trust me, it takes a village to let our children know you won't stand for it and neither will the schools. Our bullying problem is long gone. Whew.

say it plain

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 6:55 p.m.

@Peter's illustration-retort to @Robert Granville's comment is spot on. As are @YpsiVeteran and @lorie's comments... The variety of bullying that *physical assault* represents should be treated no differently than physical assault anywhere else in public. Goodness, we even have laws on the books about physical violence perpetrated *in the home* by family members, don't we?! Surely, on analogy to @Robert Granville's statement, we could argue that *domestic violence laws* are totally absurd, and we should just train wives/spouses to learn how to defend themselves when the inevitable smack for an untidy house or a late-served meal comes their way. It's time that assault in schools is treated as assault anywhere else, because it is without doubt a major source of stress for children who are *not* sociopaths, and a major outlet for kids who either are already that or who might continue down the road of unacceptable behaviors (and likely jail time when they do it as adults!) if it is not made clear to them how wrong it is. To let it slide, or to pretend it is merely a &quot;kids will be kids&quot; issue is to make a joke of our social institutions. And kids know how much of a joke it is when these things are just allowed to occur. Not good for the victims, not good for the bullies, not good for our society. I'm so sorry for Alyssa, but she's tougher than the little dweeb who smacked her, because she was brave enough to speak out against such idiotic actions. She can try and keep in mind that those who do this kind of thing are merely messed-up and have the kinds of impulse control or self-esteem problems that will lead them to a great big pile of nothing in this life, but it still hurts to worry about physical assault, or to worry about being ostracized in a social context that can foster such nasty stupidity. We're not aiming for 'perfect safe haven', just application of the same behavior expectations that we apply in the world outside school.


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 3 a.m.

Say it plain is right on target. Let's collectively call,write our state politicians to give them advice on this(bully law) for schools. This would need to inlcude students with IEP's (special ed) who are violent and out of control also.The idea of the Bullies doing on-line work is great for the good of everyone else.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 7:33 p.m.

Wow...well said say it plain. I hope your recovery is speedy Alyssa and keep standing up for what you believe in. No one.. one deserves to be bullied.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 6:34 p.m.

We're kidding ourselves if we think we can integrate our schools. The same holds true for lynching. Integration legislation is just as much of a joke as our current drug legislation. We should be aiming for harm reduction. Kids pick on each other and fight.... it's been that way as long as any of us can remember. Given that fact, shouldn't we be preparing black children to face these situations, diffuse them and/or defend themselves from bullies? Wouldn't children fare better if they were well aware that people can and will be cruel, instead of mislead into believing that their school will ever be a perfect safe haven? In my opinion, integration legislation and &quot;Stop Lynching&quot; awareness campaigns are about as effective and logical as flinging yourself into a brick wall repeatedly.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 9:48 p.m.

*Ypsi to Ypsi High Five*


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 8:46 p.m.

Satire, DBH....a well-constructed, very appropriate and intelligent example of biting, spot-on satire.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 6:51 p.m.

I hope the moderators recognize your comment for the sarcasm it is.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 6:13 p.m.

Robert Granville, you must be joking. We are only kidding ourselves if we think we can stop assaults from occurring at schools? That's insane. Why stop there? Why not give every murderous, violent thug a free pass to attack and assault and murder in society at large? What's the difference? It's not ok for adults, but why bother trying to keep kids from attacking other kids? While it's true that kids bully -- name calling, etc. -- and some do it by nature, and all kids need to learn how to handle bullies and other unpleasant confrontations, no child should be forced into attending a school at which his or her physically safety is continually in jeopardy. Adults in charge at a school not only can, but must protect the physical safety of all kids in their care, and have a legal and moral duty to identify and remove any kid who's so far gone that they can't even be trusted not to assault other kids. If the situation is as described and the suspect in this case behaved as described, then that girl is a menace and should be locked up until such time as she learns how to control herself. Her home situation should be closely scrutinized, and the well-being of any siblings she might have should be verified. Anyone who would smash the back of someone else's head in in school has no place in decent society.


Tue, Feb 28, 2012 : 6:48 a.m.

Hate laws*


Tue, Feb 28, 2012 : 6:48 a.m.

Last I checked assault was already against the rules and the law. Why is any more legislation needed. Seems to me that we need better enforcement not better legislation. Its akin to so called hatsomeone laws where somehow its a worse crime to assault someone of a different race. IMO assault is assault and should be punished according to the law. I believe that if the victim requires hospitalization then the charge becomes aggrivated assault which is a felony. I think felony charges should provide more than enough opportunity to punish any bully.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 5:37 p.m.

@Robert- you might be a bit misinformed on what the anti-bullying legislation actually does. read up on it. I strongly believe that all schools (private and public) should have written policies and procedures in place to handle bullying complaints and that our kids be prepared for this kind of behavior as well. To know that it happens and will keep happening is one thing. To have the school required to take action given a complaint and students prepared to identify bullying behavior and make such a complaint is fundamental to keeping our children safe in schools. To Alyssa, may hat is tipped to you - lots of us hear you and appreciate what you are saying. Please don't let that bully stop you. You are wayyyy not alone and I have to think that anyone who knows you is proud of you and your work. @Milan high school....what the heck is going on there??? Not just this incident but far too many incidents.

Robert Granville

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 5:17 p.m.

We're kidding ourselves if we think we can stop bullying from happening in schools. The same holds true for assault. Anti-bullying legislation is just as much of a joke as our current drug legislation. We should be aiming for harm reduction. Kids pick on each other and fight.... it's been that way as long as any of us can remember. Given that fact, shouldn't we be preparing children to face these situations, diffuse them and/or defend themselves from bullies? Wouldn't children fare better if they were well aware that people can and will be cruel, instead of mislead into believing that their school will ever be a perfect safe haven? In my opinion, anti-bullying legislation and &quot;Stop Bullying&quot; awareness campaigns are about as effective and logical as flinging yourself into a brick wall repeatedly.


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 4:34 p.m.

We are not kidding ourselves if we think we can stop bullying. It takes open communication between the parent and the child to make it stop. Parents have stopped communicating with their children. They don't see the signs. I always talk to mine and she did let me know someone was after her. I took a stance with the school and told them that there is a law to prevent this. Trust you me, they knew I knew. Good grief, be a parent and talk to your children every nite at dinner. I did and it will stop.