Sunday, May 16, 2010

This Week: Bullying and Safety Meetings

Monday, 5/17/10: The Saline School District is having a meeting to discuss safety, racism, and bullying--6:30 p.m. Pleasant Ridge Elementary School cafeteria. Read more here.

Thursday, 5/20/10, 7 p.m.: Bullying panel, hosted by, at 301 E. Liberty in Ann Arbor.
Robin Batten, Washtenaw Area Council for Children
Annie Zirkel, a relationship and parenting consultant (and Ann Arbor Public Schools parent)
Michael Benczarski, principal at Whitmore Lake Middle School

The Washtenaw Area Council for Children is an excellent, if little-known, group in the county that works to prevent abuse and increase safety for kids. I've heard and read Annie Zirkel before and really like what she has to say. (See her work at Michael Benczarski has a very interesting personal history and is living proof that you can overcome significant disadvantages. I'm excerpting his biography from this article which gives more details about the event.
Michael Benczarski, principal at Whitmore Lake Middle School, was emancipated and became his own legal guardian at the age of 16. A high school dropout, he became a graduate of high distinction from the University of Michigan with a bachelor's in education in 1999, and graduated from Marygrove College in 2002 with a masters in education. Benczarski has 12-plus years experience in education including work as a paraprofessional, fifth-grade teacher, eighth-grade teacher, elementary principal, middle school assistant principal and middle school principal. He is trained in Love and Logic and has experience utilizing the concept of Restorative Conferences.


  1. Just wanted to add that the panel discussion will be moderated by Dr. Matthew Davis of U-M, who is a leader in research on children's health issues, including bullying. Thanks!
    -Jen Eyer

  2. And, I believe, by you too, Jen Eyer, head of the parenting team at!