Heart of Illinois
United Way

Contest Winners Announced for the Live United ... Be Kind Don't Bully Campaign on May 4, 2015, the United Nations' Anti-Bullying Day

Contest Winners Announced for the "Live United ... Be Kind Don't Bully" Campaign on May 4, 2015, the United Nations' Anti-Bullying Day

This spring, the Heart of Illinois United Way launched a "Live United ... Be Kind Don't Bully Campaign" to raise awareness on how central Illinois students, parents and teachers can deal with bullying inside and outside of school.

In conjunction with the May 4 United Nations' official Anti-Bullying Day, the Spring 2015 "Live United ... Be Kind Don't Bully" campaign including an anti-bullying essay and poster contest, an anti-bullying pledge for students, age-appropriate tips for dealing with bullying to be shared in school announcements, and anti-bullying tips for parents and teachers.

Why Anti-Bullying?

Bullying involves, and affects, the entire school. Students who are bullied are often afraid to go to school and have lower grades. Bullying also leads to depression, low self-esteem and suicidal thoughts. Students who bully are more likely to get into frequent fights, have lower grades and perceive school negatively. The Heart of Illinois United Way funds education and health programs that focus on dealing with, and preventing, bullying including our education initiative S3 (Supporting Student Success) which provides in-school mental health education and counseling.

Live United ... Be Kind Don't Bully Essay and Poster Contest

Spring 2015 Contest Winners are listed below. Click below to view the student's essay or poster.

1st Place Essay
D. Jones, Quest Charter Academy Middle School

2nd Place Essay
Lillian Wetterhus, Germantown Hills Middle School

3rd Place Essay
Seth Bartlett, Quest Charter Academy Middle School

Honorable Mention Essay
Mason Hucal, Quest Charter Academy Middle School

1st Place Poster
L. Griffin, Quest Charter Academy Middle School

2nd Place Poster
A. Johnson, Quest Charter Academy Middle School

3rd Place Poster
Paige Flemings, Whittier Primary School


1st Place Essay – D. Jones, Quest Charter Academy Middle School

How Do You Deal with a Bully?

From my experience, I know how to deal with a bully by telling a teacher, but that doesn't always work. I wish I knew why people bullied, but I don't know why. I have gotten bullied and I hated it. It really hurts because I am a foster child. I have been in the system from five and a half years, and I hate it when I get bullied because when I smile they don't know that I'm actually crying on the inside.

I know that there are bystanders, but there are two kinds of them. The good bystander stands up for people, "take a stand, lend a hand." The bad bystanders are not really bad, they just don't help the situation, but it is always good to do the right thing. But I don't blame them. I would be scared too and I am not saying that you should bully or not help the victim.

You have to realize that people have problems in their life too and they are miserable. They want people to feel their pain. I am not saying it is okay to bully, but I think you should talk to someone instead of taking it out on people. People bully about the craziest things, from the color of their skin to the kind of hair they have on their head. I have gotten bulled for having weave in my hair. People don't know why I have weave in my head.

It is important to be kind to others because you would want someone to be kind to you. Some people think that they are better than others. If you think about it, we are all the same. Just because we are different colors on the outside doesn't mean that you are different on the inside. People always act like someone that they are not. God make you just like He wanted you to be.

Have you ever tried to ask a bully why they are bullying you? They try to act like they don't hear you, but you know that they do. When the pack/group stands up for the victim, the bully starts to feel a little bad and says sorry. You want to forgive them but if you have gotten bullied by the same person more than once you are just not feeling that you should say it.

I have been taught to forgive, but trust me, it is hard to act like everything will be okay. The key word is act like. Like me, you might not say anything because you are scared and you think that it will stop. If I could make one wish, it would be to change when I was getting bullied. I would go tell someone I trust. It is just so crazy to me when you try to tell on the bully, and they don't want to get told on, but then they turn around and do the same thing all over again. Some teachers are very supportive, like this one teacher named Mrs. G.C. If you are getting bullied, she will take care of the problem. I wish that all teachers were like her.

People try to be bad to fit in and not get talk about, but they are pushing away. I know that if I was the bully and they were the victims, they will feel very disappointed because even if there are good people, you just think that you don't belong and you aren't wanted. Trust me, if you are with really good people, you have to trust them. I am telling you this to learn from my mistake of feeling like I am not wanted.

Essay submitted to the Heart of Illinois United Way as part of our Spring 2015 Anti-Bullying Campaign throughout area schools

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2nd Place Essay – Lillian Wetterhus, Germantown Hills Middle School

If You Are Bullied, You Are Not Alone

Did you know that over 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year? Approximately 160,000 teens skip school each day because of repeated bullying. But why do kids bully their peers? Bullying is aggressive and unwanted behavior that is repeated over time. Usually, people bully others around their own age. A common reason that kids bully is because they are jealous. It doesn't matter if you're more athletic or smarter; they still bully. One in ten students drops out of school because of repeated bullying. How would you feel if you were the reason why?

One of the best things you can do to prevent bullying is be kind to others. You many think, "Why be kind if they aren't being kind to me?" Being kind feels good to you and the person you were kind to. If softens our hearts and brightens our world. Also, kindness is often returned with kindness. It feels good to smile and to be smiled back at. Kindness makes people feel respected and less alone. Kindness makes people want to be around you, and the kids around you will learn from your good example. My favorite reason it that God smiles on kindness.

There are many ways to deal with bullying, and here are some of the best ones. Walk away from the bully: You do not have to give the bully the ability to hurt you. Focus on the positive things: Reflect on the things that are important in your life. Find support from the people you're comfortable around: There are plenty of people who will love and appreciate you for who you are.

A lot of the time, kids beat themselves up and start believing that the bully says. Don't! The bully is being mean to you so they can see you fall to pieces. Be the better person! Bullying is never a good thing, but it's never right to bully someone because you're getting bullied. And if you are the bully, you might have started a chain of bullying. In conclusion, be kind to others, and try not to let bullies get in your head, because you aren't the only person getting bullied.

Essay submitted to the Heart of Illinois United Way as part of our Spring 2015 Anti-Bullying Campaign throughout area schools

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3rd Place Essay – Seth Bartlett, Quest Charter Academy Middle School

Steps to Deal with Bullies

I deal with bullying by just telling the adults that I know. I don't just ignore them because it builds more bad feelings inside of me, and I get more angry. I can't be mean back because it makes me a bully too, and I will be just as mean as the bully. It's important to be kind, even if you're being bullied.

If you continue being kind, the bully might give up. You have no reason of judging other people because of how they look or what they wear. The only people who can judge is a judge (a job) not us. If they say you're a snitch, just say "You did something wrong." If someone is bullying another person, you can change that quickly by telling someone. I know it's hard to be a bystander, but help the person out. Show them how to get rid of the bad feelings and tell an adult.

If you give people good feeling, it gives a nig magnificent effect of their lives and this makes the world a better place. Let's review our steps:

  1. Don't be mean back
  2. Tell a teacher/adult
  3. Help out the person
  4. Don't judge people
  5. Be kind

These are my steps, and my reason why you should be kind, and how I deal with bullies.

Essay submitted to the Heart of Illinois United Way as part of our Spring 2015 Anti-Bullying Campaign throughout area schools

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Honorable Mention Essay – Mason Hucal, Quest Charter Academy Middle School

The Effects of Bullying on Those Around Us

There was once a boy who was being really mean to my friend. When I saw this happen, it broke my heart. I knew I had to do something, so I decided to walk over and tell the bully to stop. I walked up to the boy and said, "Stop messing with my friend!" I said this very assertively. I handled this in an assertive way. I was not super mean about it, but I was also not shy and quiet about it. I said it in a very serious way.

It is important to be kind to others because I have seen so many people commit suicide because nobody is nice to them. That makes the person feel unwanted. We need to be kind to we do NOT hurt others' feelings. We need to be kind to others and help them. Also, if we are kind, the world will be a better place. If we are kind, everybody will feel wanted and there will be less human beings who will commit suicide. I think that being kind will reflect on others. Everybody was born for a purpose. If we are mean, their purpose will be hidden from everyone. We need to make each other feel empowered.

That is why we should not bully and be kind to all others.

Essay submitted to the Heart of Illinois United Way as part of our Spring 2015 Anti-Bullying Campaign throughout area schools

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1st Place Poster – L. Griffin, Quest Charter Academy Middle School

1st Place Poster, L. Griffin, Quest Charter Academy Middle School


2nd Place Poster – A. Johnson, Quest Charter Academy Middle School

2nd Place Poster, A. Johnson, Quest Charter Academy Middle School


3rd Place Poster – Paige Flemings, Whittier Primary School

3rd Place Poster, Paige Flemings, Whittier Primary School