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posted: 8/22/2012 12:01 AM

McMahon plans to broaden scope of anti-bullying program

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  • Joe McMahon

      Joe McMahon

 
 

The Kane County state's attorney's office has been giving presentations on bullying for the past two years at the request of school liaison officers.

Prosecutors plan to broaden the program, visiting more schools that request a visit and also reaching out to parents and teachers.

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State's Attorney Joe McMahon said Tuesday during his monthly press briefing that the role of his office has evolved from 20 years ago.

"We have the responsibility to not only prosecute violations of the law but to educate the community and be one piece of the puzzle that drives crime down," he said.

Assistant State's Attorney Jamie Mosser has handled the anti-bullying presentations in the past for schools that reached out for one. Now, the office will give presentations to not only students in high school, but middle schoolers, parents and teachers as well.

Each program will begin with officials presenting students with the acronym STOP, as in "Stop Treating Other People ..." and letting participants complete the sentence.

"Our goal is to go to every school that would like us to," said Mosser, adding that the most important things for parents to do is communicate with their kids, give alternative ideas to violence and monitor their kids' social media use.

"The problem is even if one kid finishes a fight, they may be in trouble even if they start out as the victim," Mosser said.

McMahon and Mosser both acknowledged the rise in cyberbullying through social media and recommended that students "Google" themselves every now and then to make sure there are no inappropriate pictures or comments about them on the Internet.

"It's horrible in the schools," he said of cyberbullying.

"It's easy to do and not monitored."

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