Bullying is not something that happens just in someone else's neighborhood, or in someone else's school district.
Bullying happens in our area, 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 Morris Daily Herald report on bullying 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.
- One out of four kids is bullied.
- More than three-fourth of students are bullied mentally, verbally and physcically.
- Forty-three percent of students experience cyberbullying.
- One in five students admits to being a bully.
- Each day 160,000 students miss school for fear of being bullied.
- Forty-three students fear being harassed in the bathroom at school.
Source: Ambassadors 4 Kids Club
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
Cyberbullying is formally defined as willful and repeated harm through the use of computers, cellphones and other electronic devices, and is done to harass, threaten and humiliate others.
Despite the Hollywood stereotype, there is no particular profile of a bully, which can make it difficult for schools to identify potential bullies before the bullying begins.
Johnsburg High School student Scott Walz was just 18 when he died of "bullycide."
It’s now part of the national conversation. Headlines from coast to coast have forced it there.