|Bullies: Innocent Bystanders
In a bullying situation, there are usually bystanders, but they aren't exactly "innocent".
Bullying usually happens with other kids around, right? Having an "audience" is very important to a bully. She wants people to see what she's doing, and that she has power over the person she's bullying. It's usually because a bully wants a reputation for being tough or strong, or because she thinks it'll make her more popular.
So what about the people watching the bullying? Why are they letting it happen? Here are some possible reasons:
Did you know that if one person watching a bullying situation says "Stop it!", half the time the bullying will stop? This can be hard to do, but it's important to try. When you stand by and do nothing, that's saying that bullying is okay with you. It makes you no better than the bully himself.
Here are some things you can do if you see someone getting bullied:
If you see someone being bullied over and over again -- whether that person is a friend, sibling, or classmate -- you can make a big difference in helping to stop it:
Do NOT use violence against bullies or try to get revenge on your own. It's possible that by speaking up or helping someone, you've made the bully want to come after you. Be prepared for this, and hold your ground. You already have adult support on your side.
Try to remember the Golden Rule:
Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Stand up for someone when he or she needs it, and when you need it, someone will stand up for you.