A guide for bystanders fromJennifer Hancockauthor ofThe Bully Vaccine
Why youmust actBully’s bully because itworks. In order to getbullying to stop, thebully needs to receive anegative consequenceevery time they bully.Victims are often unableto stand up forthemselves whichmeans someone needsto stand up for them andit might as well be you.You will be glad you did.
What to doabout teasingLook the bully straightin the eye and calmlytell them to stop. Tellthem what the saidisn’t nice and theyshould apologize.Do this every time youwitness teasing.No exceptions.
What to doabout exclusionSocial rejection is one ofthe most harmful formsof bullying.If you witness someonebeing excluded, activelyand publicly step in toinclude them, even ifthis means you will beexcluded too.You don’t want to befriends with mean kidsanyway, and you mayjust give courage toothers to stand up forothers as well.
What to do aboutCyber BullyingRespond on behalf of others bycalmly defending the victim.Simply saying, “that’s not true.”Or “You are being mean. Stop.” issufficient. You only need to posta simple response once perincidence.Don’t get into a flame war with acyber bully.If they turn on you, don’trespond.If they are threatening violenceor encouraging the victim tocommit suicide, take a screenshot and report them.
What to doabout threatsLook the bully straight in theeye and calmly tell them tostop. Tell them theirbehavior isn’t acceptable andthat if they act on theirthreat you will report them.If the bully continues theirthreats or acts on theirthreats or turns on youreport them. If you thinkthe treat is serious or youoverhear someone plottingto hurt another person,report them immediately.Do this every time youwitness someonethreatening another person.No exceptions.
What to doabout violenceIf you witnessviolence againstanother student,find an adultimmediately andask them tointervene.No exceptions.
What to expectfrom the BullyExpect the bully to turn onyou. They may threatenyou or resort to name-calling.If they do, respondappropriately and showthem they do notintimidate you.Don’t tolerate their badbehavior ever. Keepreporting them. It is theonly way to get them tostop.
Crime andPunishmentIn order to get bullyingto stop, the bully needsto receive a negativeconsequence everysingle time they engagein undesirable behavior.You are doing the bully afavor by reporting thembecause theconsequences theyreceive help them tolearn more pro-socialbehavior.
Be ConsistentSpeak UpGetting a bully to stop is aprocess that takes time. Thekey to getting them to stop is tobe consistent.Respond to every incidence ofbullying every time. Noexceptions.In order to get a bully the costof bullying must outweigh thebenefits. You do that byexpressing the sociallyunacceptable nature of theirbad behavior and making suretheir bad behavior results inreferrals.Peer pressure works wonders.Use that power for good.