Surrounded by hundreds of students at Madison Middle School, Gov. Steve Beshear today ceremonially signed Senate Bill 20, which designates October as "Anti-Bullying Month" each year in Kentucky.
The bill also creates a purple and yellow ribbon as the symbol for anti-bullying awareness in the state -- with the color purple representing domestic violence victims and yellow representing those individuals who have taken their lives as a result of bullying.
"Bullying isn't just a schoolyard issue -- it can affect children, teens and adults in their homes, schools and community activities," said Gov. Beshear. "I am proud to sign this bill to bring more awareness to the damage that bullying creates in our communities, and I hope that further awareness will help us work together to end these unacceptable behaviors."
Students at Madison Middle School have followed this legislation closely throughout the legislative session, and some came to Frankfort to testify in support of the bill. The purple and yellow colors in the anti-bullying ribbon are also the school's colors.
"Bullying has changed so much over the years, going from a face-to-face conflict when I was a student to one that today is blasted across social media," said Sen. Jared Carpenter, of Berea. "Being the victim of bullying can change a child's life forever. I appreciate being able to work with Rep. Smart and students from Madison Middle School to get this legislation passed. If we can raise bullying awareness to a level that makes a difference in the life of just one child, we can call this a success."
"I want to thank Madison Middle School's students for having the courage to speak up against bullying and proving that one person really can make a difference," said Rep. Rita Smart, of Richmond. "Because of their actions, anti-bullying awareness will be raised in our schools and across Kentucky as we proudly wear our purple and yellow ribbons next October."