Superintendent Tom Shelton says he regularly meets with middle and high school students from across Fayette County to get their ideas. He says leading up to this school year, their main concern was bullying.
"You cannot learn if you cannot be yourself," said Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez. About 700 Fayette County freshmen listened to Perez talk about bullying and how it can be prevented.
"Bullying should never be considered a rite of passage. Anyone who thinks that is dead wrong!" he proclaimed.
More than 2,000 students watched online through a live webcast at their schools and submitted questions to a panel including Perez, former UK football player Jeremy Jarmon, and teen boxing champ Samantha Kinchen. Dunbar freshman Alyssa Mason said she's seen friends bullied.
"I honestly want to go up to the bully and tell them to back off. Tell them to find a hobby and do something besides that," said Mason.
Superintendent Shelton says it's important for students to think about their behavior from a victim's point of view.
"I know things that happened when I was growing up that we probably laughed at and considered maybe innocent fun or a rite of passage probably had an impact on those who were on the receiving end," said Shelton.
Shelton says after today's event, the students will take the ideas they learned back to the classroom to try to come up with new ways to combat bullying.