Attorney General talks bullying to elementary school kids

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Bullying is a growing issue across the country. Today, some Henrico County elementary students were able to get a real life lesson is preventing that from happening here at home.

The message this morning at Pinchbeck Elementary School was simple: leaders are trying to make this school a bully free zone. That's especially important now because some national bullying cases have ended up costing people their lives.

An energetic crowd of students, pumped up for a surprise visit from the Flying Squirrels' mascot, Nutzy, learned about the real dangers of bullying.

Exactly what parents like Betsy Beamer want her children to hear. "You never quite know when bullying is going to start. A friend says something ugh to friends or someone starts teasing people," she said.

Someone who knows about the issue kids are facing is Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who talked today.

"You'd be hard pressed to finds someone who doesn't deal with this issue. I dealt with it," says Cuccinelli.

Cuccinelli says bullying is a growing issue, one he wants to tackle head on. He says Virginia is right in the middle of the pack, in terms of the number of bullying cases.

"We have our challenges in parts of the state and every community has to deal with this. No school is immune," adds Cuccinelli.

Henrico schools says it's not seeing a wave of bullying inside its schools, but admits kids will be kids.

"You're always trying to teach your child no matter what happens, they need to be treated with respect and dignity and this reinforces that," says Beamer.

One big case that's making headlines is the suicide of the Rutgers University student. Right now, investigators believe he killed himself because he was bullied.

That's why the attorney general gave this advice, simply put. "Don't stand by yourself. Talk to your mom, dad and teachers," says Cuccinelli.

Now, the challenge is to take the message that students heard this morning and take it into the classrooms, along with their own homes where they live everyday.

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