Prosecutor Bolsters Anti-Bullying Efforts

Sep 5, 2012

Efforts to strengthen Illinois' anti-bullying policies for schools recently failed in the legislature. Supporters say the bill could be revived this fall. In the meantime, a northern Illinois prosecutor is taking steps to prevent students from harassing their peers. 

Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon is expanding his office's program of visiting schools requesting intervention. Under the initiative, officials work with educators, parents and students to identify and halt bullying on school grounds and through social media.

Because it's not a criminal charge, McMahon says his office doesn't usually prosecute cases of bullying. But he says there are instances where the situation escalates into violent behavior.

"There are cases that come into juvenile court in the form of aggravated battery" McMahon said.

McMahon says there's also a correlation between students experiencing violent behavior and exhibiting that type of behavior later in life.