Teacher Works to Prevent Bullying as New School Year Begins

A new school year can bring about bullying and one teacher in New Britain has made it his mission to motivate students to stop the destructive behavior as soon as they see it.

"I think when bullying is at its worse is when you feel alone and helpless and I don’t think any kid should be in that spot," Daniel Blanchard, a teacher at New Britain High School, said.

So, Blanchard started writing books on teen leadership and encourages students in his class to stand up against bullying even when it happens outside of school hours.

"If you do something on social media that affects the environment or the climate here, then the deans here can suspend you," Blanchard said.

The key to solving the problem is open communication between adults and students and creating a climate in the classroom where bullying isn't tolerated.

"You create that kind of environment where you kind of feel like this is a special place. This is my family around here. You’re not going to be bullying kids," Blanchard said.

Carol Dorbuck said bullying is a real problem for family and she said she has listened to her great-granddaughter’s stories for years.

"We had bullying problems right from the get go when she started in kindergarten," Dorbuck, of New Britain, said.

She didn't want NBC Connecticut to identify her granddaughter because she feared it would only make the bullying and her anxiety worse.

Dorbuck's granddaughter is one of more than 1,400 students across Connecticut who reported being bullied by their peers during the last school year, according to the Department of Education.

"It happened here. It touched us, so now I want to see what I can do," Dorbuck said.

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