Bullying usually requires the participation of three different people or groups: bullies, victims and bystanders. This can take the form of verbal insults or threats, physical intimidation or violence, gossiping and more. Itís easy to claim that youíre innocent as long as youíre not the bully, but that is simply not true. At Reportbullying.com we believe that bystanders have the power to help stop bullying.
Bystanders are present most of the time when there is bullying on school grounds, sometimes simply being in the area and sometimes as the bullyís intended audience. Most kids feel uncomfortable being a witness to bullying, but very few interfere. This is a huge problem. Studies have shown that when peers step in, bullying often stops within ten seconds.
If you are a witness to bullying but do not step in, you are just part of the audience, which is exactly what the bully wants. Pay attention to the bullyís actions, bullying can mean more than just physical violence. Donít encourage the bully by ignoring the victim. Walk away and go get help. Encourage others to come along. Tell school officials where most bullying takes place, and they will make sure to supervise these areas.
You can even speak up directly against the bully. Put yourself in the victimís shoes. Surely you donít want to be treated that way, and neither would the bully. Tell them that theyíre wrong, and that you wonít participate in their victimization.
When it comes to bullying, there is no such thing as an innocent bystander. Standing around and watching is just making the bullies bolder. Donít let anyone accuse you of tattling. Remember the difference: tattling is when you want someone else to get in trouble. When you report bullying, you are trying to help the victim get out of trouble.