Bullying Bystanders Become Upstanders
Many of us have been bystanders in difficult situations where we are uncertain of what action to take to help improve the outcome of a certain scenario. And while it is common to feel this way, there are steps you can take to create change.
Especially when it comes to bullying.
What is a bystander? Bystanders in bullying and cyberbullying situations are kids and teens who witness bullying and cyberbullying in action but do and say nothing to change or stop it.
If you stand by and watch, videotape or make the bullying incident go viral you are sending the message to the bully that what they are doing is acceptable. And it is NOT.
That also means you are a part of the problem and not the solution! Fear of retaliation or exclusion may be preventing you from taking steps to help an outsider, but there are small things you can do to support the victim and show the bully their behavior is not acceptable.
As an upstander you can support the bully victim by:
- Not laughing
- Not encouraging the bully in any way
- Not participating
- Not making a video and posting it online
- Telling an adult
It can be scary to confront a bully, but it’s time to stand up and take action. Help the bully victim in any way you can - reaching out in friendship, inviting them to join you if they’re being isolated, or including them in your activities.
How to Prevent Bullying
Remember that there are strength in numbers! Every school and community has more kids who care than kids who bully. Becoming an upstander and actively speaking out against bullying takes courage, assertiveness, compassion and leadership.
To be an upstander, you must take action to:
Tell the bully to stop
Get others to stand up to the bully with you
Help the victim
Shift the focus and redirect the bully away from the victim
It takes courage to tell a friend who is bullying to stop, but you are ultimately doing them a huge favor by helping them stop hurtful behavior. Your friend, and others, may not realized they are bullying someone. By taking small steps like saying “that’s bullying”, “stop it now”, you can really open others eyes to the problem.
Be a leader in your social group and speak up - teaching others to recognize bullying and take steps to help STOMP Out Bullying!
Become a Teen Ambassador for STOMP Out Bullying
If you are an Upstander against bullying, have excellent grades, public speaking experience and are a leader in your school or community you could be a Teen Ambassador. Learn more about how to apply here.