I can hardly bring myself to think about kids who kill themselves because they are being bullied. It gives me a pit in my stomach to think about people who take the bullying to heart so much that they feel they can't go on.
I remember a couple times during my school career where I felt bullied. I managed through those times alright--once by ignoring it for the entire semester and once by verbally confronting the bully in front of other people.
I also remember the first time I really stuck up for someone who was being bullied. I was a junior in high school; a boy sat next to me who was the son of people my parents knew. I didn't like him, I found his personality to be extremely annoying, and I never really talked to him in the class. He had a speech impediment in that he said his r's like w's. One day these two other guys in the class were relentlessly whispering to him while the teacher was distracted with something else, making fun of the kid's speech, asking if he was dropped on his head when he was a baby.
After listening to it for about ten minutes I turned around in the quiet classroom and said out loud to the two of them, "I don't know why you guys are teasing him. You're fat," I said to one, "and you have disgusting acne," to the other. "If anything he should be teasing you." Everything stopped and everyone looked, including the teacher who winked at me and went back to his business.
They left him alone after that.
Twenty years later I have children of my own in high school. Neither of them are experiencing bullying right now; I've asked. They have in the past. We suggested the best method is to show the bully that their They promise they aren't bullying either. I have taken it a step further--I told them that if they see bullying they are to take action. If they don't feel comfortable confronting the bully they should tell a teacher.
They have both come to us with stories of sticking up for people who were being picked on. Just the other day my daughter, a junior, walked up to a group of senior boys to snatch back the cell phone of a very small freshman boy from whom they took it.