Who is a bystander?
If you see bullying—you have the power to stop the behaviour. Youth who bully love an audience. People who stand by and do nothing make bullying worse if they support or cheer the person who is the bully. When a youth who is a bystander stands up to the person who is bullying and tells them to knock it off, the bullying stops.
How you can help stop bullying
- Stand up for your friends who are targeted.
- Refuse to go along with bullying or harassment – youth who laugh, agree or cheer only encourage the behavior. Instead, take the side of the youth who is being targeted.
- Be assertive but not aggressive. Using insults or fighting back will make the situation worse.
- Gather your friends to help speak out against bullying and harassment.
- Always make sure you are safe. If it is not safe to intervene, report what you see or hear to an adult.
- Ask your school to form an anti-bullying committee with representation from teachers, parents and students. Collectively, you can make a big difference!
How you can help stop cyberbullying
- Make sure you and your friends are using proper netiquette when using the Internet. This means being kind, courteous, honest and polite when online.
- Don’t forward hurtful email to your friends.
- Don’t allow your friends to take cell phone photos or videos of the personal moments of others.
- Don’t visit sites that are defamatory and put down other students.
- Speak out against cyberbullying, particularly if you are in a chat room.
- Don’t buy into the vicious rumours that are spread online to destroy a student’s reputation. Stand up for that student online and in person.
- Report cyberbullying to a trusted adult such as a teacher, someone in administration or your parents.
- If you know someone is being threatened online, call the police.
- Call the providers of Internet and cell phone services and report cyberbullying.
- Don’t do or say anything online that you would not say in person.
- Protect your password and make sure you know who someone is before you add them to your friend list.
- Remember what you post online stays online forever.
- Create open forums in your school to raise awareness of the issue of cyberbullying.
- Don’t engage in online exchanges with cyberbullies and encourage your friends not to either.
- Don’t erase or delete messages – they can be saved in a file if you need them for evidence when you are making a report against a cyberbully.
- Block the sender’s email – right click on the address –click on block.
For more information on the Canadian Red Cross Beyond the Hurt bullying prevention program for youth, contact the Canadian Red Cross office nearest you, or email email@example.com for more information.
What should I do if I’m being bullied?
- Remember: bullying and harassment don’t happen because you deserve it. It's okay to feel scared when you're threatened, and it's okay to feel sad or angry about being picked on by person who is bullying you—but don't blame yourself.
- Write down what happened—keep a journal of events/incidents.
- Get support from your friends—but don't gather them together for a fight or to get revenge.
- Tell the person who is bullying or harassing you to stop—if you feel safe doing so.
- Bring a friend or stay in your group and avoid being alone in situations where the bully might target you.
- Tell your parents or another adult you trust so they can support you. If you don't get the support you need, tell someone else.
- If the bullying or harassment doesn’t stop, keep telling until you get help.
- Learn about your school or club harassment policy. If there is one, ask that it be followed. If there isn't one, ask why there isn't, or get a supportive adult to ask why there isn't.
- Make a formal complaint to the principal, the organization's leader, or someone else in authority.
- Ask what will happen to resolve your complaint.
- If you feel scared, angry or confused at any time—even after it's over—ask for counseling or other support.
The Canadian Red Cross Beyond the Hurt program is a bullying prevention program with a difference. Peer facilitation is what sets this school and community program apart. Older peers, typically in grades 10-12, are trained to deliver presentations to youth, with the support of an adult in their school who is also trained.
Research has found youth-delivered learning is most effective in prevention programs, and our experience with Beyond the Hurt bears that out.
Youth in different schools are asked to outline a presentation that they can deliver to their peers in the second day of training. Interestingly, there are striking similarities between the messages created by youth from different schools and communities, telling us that young people have a clear, shared vision about what's important to preventing bullying and harassment. One area where students consistently show significant growth is in their understanding of the bystander role, and how critical it is to stopping bullying.
Because the youth bring their "peer insider information" and their creativity to the delivery, and because they have a special kind of credibility when talking to younger students, these peer facilitators make a huge impact on their audience, helping to foster a safer environment for students.
For more information on bringing Beyond the Hurt training to your community, contact the Canadian Red Cross office nearest you, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Download our new Beyond the Hurt brochure (PDF, 323kb). Download our new Beyond the Hurt brochure.
Posted November 7, 2007