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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

  • More victims of online abuse reach out to parents

    WASHINGTON — Sarah Ball was a 15-year-old high school sophomore at Hernando High School in Brooksville, Fla., when a friend posted on Facebook: "I h ...
    Oct. 24, 2013 - 3:58 pm
  • 2 girls arrested in Florida bullying case

    WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (AP) — Two girls were arrested in a Florida bullying case after one of them admitted online over the weekend that she harassed a 12 ...
    Oct. 15, 2013 - 1:34 pm
  • Area schools encourage students to stop bullying

    The fastest way to thwart school bullies, experts say, starts and stops with students.Advocates are ...
    Oct. 4, 2013 - 3:13 pm
  • Award-winning author talks about bullying at Cary Jr. High

    CARY – After overcoming illiteracy, battling bullies in school, becoming a skydiving champion and adopting a 700-pound black bear, award-winning child ...
    Oct. 3, 2013 - 4:37 pm
  • Funeral held for bullied Fla. girl who killed self

    BARTOW, Fla. (AP) — Some 250 mourners thronged a funeral service Monday for a 12-year-old central Florida girl who authorities say committed suicide a ...
    Sept. 16, 2013 - 2:15 pm
  • Growing push to halt workplace bullying

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Margaret Fiester is no shrinking violet, but she says working for her former boss was a nightmare.
    March 1, 2013 - 2:09 pm
  • Rachel’s Challenge visits Crystal Lake students

    CRYSTAL LAKE – In six personal journals and diaries, Rachel Joy Scott left her family, and ultimately the world, a legacy of kindness and compassion.
    Oct. 10, 2012 - 11:56 pm
  • 'Finding Kind' film looks bullying in the eye

    McHENRY – “Finding Kind” opens with a young girl talking about thoughts of suicide. The girl, Holly, uses her sweatshirt sleeve to wipe away tears as ...
    Oct. 10, 2012 - 10:38 am
  • Illinois gets ‘A-’ grade for bullying laws

    Although the state gets high marks for its bullying prevention efforts, some argue that laws fall short of protecting schoolchildren.
    Oct. 10, 2012 - 10:37 am
  • Schools adopt bullying programs

    Schools across the area have their own methods of confronting the bully. Their tactics may be different, but their goals are the same – keep students ...
    Oct. 10, 2012 - 11:16 am
  • Oliver: Help to cope can come from many sources

    For me, the bullying began in sixth grade.My two best friends and I had a falling out over something ...
    Oct. 10, 2012 - 10:36 am
  • Crystal Lake students learn lasting power of bullying words

    CRYSTAL LAKE – As the kickoff for next week’s Rachel’s Challenge, an anti-bullying program, Hannah Beardsley Middle School turned to an upbeat speaker ...
    Oct. 10, 2012 - 10:36 am
  • Bullying can be relentless online

    As society has become more aware of cyberbullying in the past few years, more children and teens are coming forward about being intimidated or harasse ...
    Oct. 10, 2012 - 10:36 am
  • Parents can play a role in stopping cyberbullying

    Parents being involved and knowledgeable of their children’s Internet use is a key deterrent in preventing or reducing cyberbullying.
    Oct. 10, 2012 - 10:35 am
  • Transgender woman recalls bullying in high school

    WONDER LAKE – Crystal Gray always knew she was different. Her classmates picked up on it, too. It pu ...
    Oct. 10, 2012 - 10:35 am
  • Latest bullying news

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