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The mother of a boy who was severely beaten in a Liberty, Missouri middle school lunchroom in February said she’d written to the school a month earlier — telling administrators her son was being picked on.

Blake Kitchen has Asperger’s Syndrome and as part of his condition, he likes routine. For example, he likes eating in the same spot in the lunchroom each day. When Blake put his tray down in that spot, an older student allegedly beat him so badly he ended up in the hospital with a broken skull and jaw.

In the wake of a bullying incident that sent a 12-year-old to the hospital for five days in the Liberty School District, we get perspectives on bullying from administrators, parents and former students, all in an effort to figure out what can and should be done to keep kids safe.




In her new documentary, Mentor, filmmaker Alix Lambert examines the culture of bullying at an Ohio high school and two of its victims who committed suicide.  Bullying will also be the focus of her presentation at this week's TEDxKC speakers series.

In this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Lambert about 'bystander culture' and what draws her to individuals who are non-conforming.

The Problem Of Adult Bullying

Nov 13, 2013

In light of the recent NFL bullying scandal where Richie Incognito's inappropriate locker room behavior landed him in the national spotlight, we explore the reality of adult bullying.

We talk about how prevalent adult bullying is, as well as how important it is for managers and supervisors to enforce anti-bullying policies in their workplaces. 


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Sexual assault used to be such a taboo issue that it wasn’t even covered by the media. Those affected by sexual assault would often hide in shame, but as it has becomes more public, young people are flocking to their Facebook and Twitter accounts to call names and take sides.

Researchers at the University of Kansas have been hired by the State Department of Education to develop a model anti-bullying policy for use in schools statewide.

All Kansas schools must have an anti-bullying policy, but coming up with effective policies and practices to meet that requirement can get complicated. Researchers at the University of Kansas plan to launch a statewide series of meetings in October to present educators with a model policy to build their own programs around.

A city council committee has endorsed an ordinance that would outlaw bullying throughout Kansas City, Missouri. As with the city's youth curfew, the onus falls on parents.

The 14 school districts in the city already have policies to protect students from being bullied, as is required by Missouri law.

The problem, says Councilman Scott Taylor, is that school districts' anti-bullying policies are only enforceable on school property. And bullying is not confined to school grounds, especially in the age of the Internet, where online humiliations have even led to suicides.

It's become all too common: kids bullying other kids.



Yesterday, the Sioux City Journal in Iowa did something it had never done before. It devoted the entire front page of its Sunday paper to an editorial. The headline, "We Must Stop Bullying, It Starts Here and It Starts Now." That editorial came soon after a 14-year-old Iowa boy named Kenneth Weishuhn committed suicide. He had been subjected to bullying and death threats after he told friends he was gay.

Mitch Pugh is editor of the Sioux City Journal and he joins me now.

Lots of kids get bullied. But kids with autism are especially vulnerable.

A new survey by the Interactive Autism Network found that nearly two-thirds of children with autism spectrum disorders have been bullied at some point. And it found that these kids are three times as likely as typical kids to have been bullied in the past month.

A daily digest of headlines from KCUR:

  • Missouri Supreme Court Hears Redistricting Lawsuits
  • Brownback’s Budget Proposal Restores Some Arts Funding
  • New Play Tackles Bullying and Disability

photo: Steve Walker/KCUR

Schools across the country are grappling with how to address bullying, a problem that's provoked some teenagers to suicide.

Two area theaters for young audiences are staging plays about bullying this month, and in the case of a new play at Theatre for Young America, specifically tackling bullying against the disabled with a disabled actor in its cast.

Fresh Way of Addressing Bullying