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Laurel County Attorney Albright Emphasizes National Bullying Prevention Week October 21-27th In the last several years, bullying has gotten more attention . . . not the bullies themselves, but their  victims. Awareness has focused on the  violent and revengeful acts committed by those who have  been long-time victims of bullies.  In fact, studies by the Secret Service show that two-thirds of  school shooting attackers felt as if they had been bullied.  “Certain names are imprinted in our minds:  Michael Carneal, who killed three of his fellow students in Paducah; Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold,  who killed 13 people and themselves at Columbine High School,” said Assistant Laurel County  Attorney J. L. Albright.  “It’s important  to remember that these kids were first bullied before they  were killers. That’s why it’s so important to build awareness of the terrible  consequences of  bullying.”  To help build awareness and help kids avoid bullying, Oct. 21-27 has been designated as  National Bullying Prevention Awareness Week.  “Many states have established anti-bullying laws to  help prevent bullying or to stop it before it gets out of hand,” said Albright, who handles  juvenile  matters in family court. “Kentucky does not have bullying-specific laws.”   Although formal criminal  charges are rarely filed in bullying incidents, Albright said bullying is found in every school, but may  not readily be  recognized by parents and teachers.  “A lot of children suffer silently at the hands of  bullies who tease them, take their lunch money or  publicly humiliate them,” Albright said. “Until  there is a unified, accepted anti-bullying system in place, the best we can do is advise kids on the   best way to handle a bully.”   Experts agree that bullying should be taken seriously, and adults should be on the lookout for signs  that may indicate a child is being bullied, which can include:   Visible bruises or injuries, Anxious behavior, Lack of appetite, Sleep loss, Withdrawal, Avoiding  certain situations, such as riding the bus.   “The bullied child needs help from an adult to help get through this difficult time,” Albright said.  “Adults should be sensitive and take the child’s  feelings seriously.”  Most experts recommend the  following steps to stop or deter a bully:      Avoid the bully and use the buddy system.                                                                                      Don’t show anger or fear.                                                                                                                            Bullies thrive on anger and fear.                                                                                                                   Simply ignore the bully and walk away.                                                                                              Tell an adult. Remove the incentives. If a bully is demanding lunch money, the victim should start bringing their  lunch to school. If the bully is seeking other  gadgets, such as a music player, those should be left at  home as well. Parents can help bullied children by encouraging their children to get together with  friends who help build their self-esteem, join a club or  even take self-defense classes.    For more information on anti-bullying measures, Call Kentucky’s Anti-Bullying Alliance at 502-875-4345
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