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Parent: Watch for warning signs in teen dating

PHOENIX — The co-founder of an organization created to stop violence in relationships urged parents to be on the lookout for warning signs after a Valley teenager killed his girlfriend and took his own life.

“After I heard about the tragedy, I asked myself why this happened,” said Bobbi Sudberry of Kaity’s Way. “There are things in place to help prevent this from happening again.”

In 2008, Bobbi’s daughter, 17-year-old Kaitlyn Marie Sudberry, was gunned down by a disgruntled ex-boyfriend. He then turned the gun on himself. This was a similar story to a 15-year-old Sandra Day O’Connor High School student killing his 16-year-old girlfriend before taking his own life.

“When we were going through all of this with Kaity, we didn’t have protections under the law, now we have Kaity’s Law,” said Sudberry. “It offers people in dating relationships, either past or current, protections under the state domestic violence statute.

“There are education efforts happening all the time through organizations like Kaity’s Way. We go out into the community and teach people about red flags,warning signs and other issues related to bullying in teen dating.”

Sudberry urged parents to get involved in their kids’ relationships and look for the warning signs. She also advises parents to help kids through tough breakups and teach them how to deal with raw emotions.