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KU To Help Kansas Schools Fight Bullying

Associated Press - August 21, 2013 8:56 am

Researchers at the University of Kansas are experimenting with using a blue light to help law enforcement officers nab red-light runners. Here's how the system works: Blue lights come on when traffic signals turns red, providing a visual clue to officers. The university says the blue light is visible from 360 degrees. That way even if officers can't directly see the traffic signal change, they can still know that a motorist ran a red light. Blue confirmation light systems are being installed at two intersections in Lawrence and two in Overland Park. Researchers from the university's School of Engineering will monitor the system's effectiveness during the next six months. Funding for the project comes from the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Mid-America Transportation Center.

Researchers at the University of Kansas will work with the state’s schools to prevent bullying.

The Kansas Department of Education awarded a contract to the researchers, who will develop a website and hold training sessions at schools across the state. The researchers also will create a model policy on bullying that schools can change to fit their specific circumstances.

The state’s schools are in different stages of implementing a policy against bullying. The state passed a law requiring the policy in 2007 but some districts have faced obstacles, partly because intervention projects can be expensive.

Lead researcher Anne Williford says the starting point is defining what constitutes bullying. She says social scientists do not believe every act of aggression or anger is bullying.

Associated Press information from: Lawrence Journal-World

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