Essay on Bullying
Also dismissed are those who spread the tale of the victim's woe through the grapevine. In truth, however, this supporting cast plays a significant role in peer-to-peer violence....Bystanders make or break bullying episodes." (Our Children) This article examines the role of the bystander in bullying incidents and outlines some strategies to help encourage young bystanders to act in these situations.
Nov./Dec. 2003, pp. 8-10
Reprinted with permission from National PTA. Article …show more content…
Historically, in cases of peer-to-peer abuse, whether physical or emotional, the blame is laid on the belligerent boys or girls. The bystanders who hover, chime in, or squirm on the outskirts of the "mean" action are dismissed as irrelevant.
Also dismissed are those who spread the tale of the victim's woe through the grapevine. In truth, however, this supporting cast plays a significant role in peer-to-peer violence. A Canadian study of student bystanders to bullying episodes found that 43 percent of respondents said they tried to help a victim. The remaining 57 percent stood by and watched, but did nothing. Of that number, 33 percent confessed that they should have attempted to help a victim but didn't. The other 24 percent responded,
"It was none of my business."
It is their business. Bystanders make or break bullying episodes. Consider this scenario: A 10-year-old boy rides the morning school bus. As he walks down the aisle, an older boy trips him, then takes his hat. The bullying boy then enlists a buddy and the two of them throw the boy's hat back and forth in a mean version of monkey-in-the-middle. The victim is now on the verge of tears as the bus rolls to the curb of the middle school. The other boys and girls on the bus have watched the whole episode, alternately laughing or nervously giggling. Some say nothing but their frowns and scowls