Group working to stop bullying in wake of student incidents

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Group talks to students about bullying

PHOENIX - A few months ago a student was caught on tape hitting another girl over the head with a metal chair and it happened right here in Arizona.

That headline-making attack was linked to a school bully and on Wednesday at Queen Creek High School a student brought a gun to class because he says he was being picked on.

Now one group is working to stop bullying in Arizona schools.

The 12-year-old Queen Creek Middle School student accused of bringing a gun to school remains in juvenile custody. He told investigators that he brought the gun to school because another student had been "picking" on him.

Ruby Alvarado is the coordinator of the Arizona Bullying Prevention Partnership at Arizona State University. They train staff at elementary to junior high schools on what bullying is, what signs to look for and how to deal with the problem.

Queen Creek Middle School will not confirm if the 12-year-old student had told anyone about the alleged bullying.

Alvarado says victims often go to extremes as a way of crying out for help. Earlier this year a 13-year-old student at Achieve Academy Charter School in Prescott Valley was arrested after she hit another student over the head with a metal chair while another student recorded the attack with her cell phone.

In April a 13-year-old student at Fountain Hills Middle School was arrested for allegedly writing a "death wish list." The common denominator? Both students said they had been the targets of bullies.

These are just a few of the warning signs that your child might be the victim of bullying:

- Child does not want to go to school

- Complains frequently of headaches, stomach aches or other physical ailments

- Has unexplained injuries

- Has few, if any, friends

Research shows that individuals that are bullies at a young age are four times more likely to be convicted of crimes by the age of 24.