Who Is Involved in Bullying?

Let your students know: In a situation of bullying, there is a person or people being targeted by a person or people bullying, and there are often other people who can see what is going on.  These people are often called bystanders. 

Ask your students: (handout of possible answers? - I have one, already)

  • What can a person being targeted do? Possible answers include:
    • Tell the person or people bullying you to stop
    • Walk away and find a safe place
    • Protect yourself if you can’t get away
    • Talk to a trusted adult
    • Hang with trusted friends
    • Explore new opportunities to make friends
  • What should a person who is bullying others do?  Possible answers include:
    • Think about the feelings of the person or people you are bullying
    • Don’t tolerate your friends acting as bullies
    • Apologize to the person or people you have targeted
    • Think about how to act differently in the future
    • Talk to a trusted adult
  • What should bystanders do? Possible answers include:
    • Let the person or people doing the bullying know you don’t agree with what they are doing
    • Don’t join in
    • Don’t give the person or people doing the bullying an audience
    • Support person or people who are being targeted
    • Talk to a trusted adult

Information from: Pacer Center Teens Against Bullying website: www.pacerteensagainstbullying.org and Stop Bullying website: www.stopbullying.gov

The Importance of Upstanding

Let your students know that one of the best ways to prevent and intervene in bullying is for bystanders to become upstanders.  An upstander realizes that bystanding when bullying is occurring only allows and encourages the person/people bullying to keep on doing it.  What people bullying crave is power, and they can get this through an audience that encourages them, watches what is going on without saying anything, or shows any fear.  On the other hand, if they realize that the people watching don't agree with their actions and aren't afraid to let them know, they aren't able to gain any power, and will more than likely stop what they are doing. 

Let your students know that if they or someone they know is ever seriously considering suicide, they should call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or chat with someone at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Notes for educators: 

  • žAlways make the safety of all involved most important!
  • žImmediately intervene in the situation
  • žSpeak to all involved separately
  • žDon’t label students (victim/target, bully, etc)
  • žExplain to bystanders what they can do differently next time
  • žReport the incident to the person who handles bullying
  • žConsider an appropriate intervention:
    • Refer students to necessary services
    • Review rules and policies with students
    • Provide consequences as necessary
    • Reorient the person or people bullying to other ways of behaving
  • žAlways follow up with everyone involved!
  • žHave an adult presence in your school’s bullying “hotspots”

From: Stopbullying.gov