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Bullying is not something that happens just in someone else's neighborhood, or in someone else's school district.

Bullying happens right here in McHenry County, sometimes with deadly consequences. We don't want to write about more children killing themselves because they no longer could take the bullying.

"Confronting the Bully" is a special Northwest Herald report on bullying in McHenry County and what we can do to stop it.

Over the past several months, we've talked to victims of bullying, and family members of bullying victims. We've talked to educators, counselors and other experts. We surveyed administrators of dozens of McHenry County schools. We'll report our initial findings in a four-day series Sept. 26 through Sept. 29. But our reporting will not end with the series.

"Confronting the Bully" will be a year-round project. Please join us on this journey.

Methods to prevent bullying

If you are being bullied online:
  • Don’t respond to bullying or inappropriate messages, but save them as evidence.
  • Always report online bullying to an adult.
  • Block the email addresses and cell phone numbers of people who send unwanted messages.
  • File complaints with service providers.
  • When in doubt about what to do, log off the computer and ask for help from a trusted adult.
Source: Anti-Defamation League
If you are being bullied:
  • Ignore the bully's behavior whenever possible.
  • Use social skills, such as assertiveness, instead of using aggression and intimidation.
  • Rebuff the bully in a firm manner.
  • Protect yourself emotionally and physically without using retaliation.
  • Ask the bully to stop, and then walk away.
  • Defuse the situation with humor.
  • Spend time in groups of students you can trust.
Source: Bully Proof USA

'Confronting the Bully' series stories

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