Someone who witnesses bullying, either in person or online, is a bystander. Friends, students, peers, teachers, school staff, parents, coaches, and other youth-serving adults can be bystanders. With cyberbullying, even strangers can be bystanders.
Youth involved in bullying play many different roles. Witnessing bullying is upsetting and affects the bystander, too. Bystanders have the potential to make a positive difference in a bullying situation by becoming an upstander. An upstander is someone who sees what happens and intervenes, interrupts, or speaks up to stop the bullying.
Youth who are bullied often feel even more alone because there are witnesses who do nothing. When no one intervenes the person being targeted may feel that bystanders do not care or they agree with what is happening. There are many reasons why a bystander may not interject, even if they believe that bullying is wrong. They may be afraid of retaliation or of becoming the target of bullying themselves. They might fear that getting involved could have negative social consequences.
An Upstander is someone who takes action when they witness bullying. Even one person’s support can make a big difference for someone who is being bullied. When youth who are bullied are defended and supported by their peers, they are less anxious and depressed than those who are not.
There are many things that bystanders to bullying can do to become upstanders:
Teachers, schools, and other educators (faith-based, after-school, recreational) can help youth learn how to be more than just bystanders by showing and teaching moral engagement. Strategies to address student’s special needs at school can also help to prevent bullying and have positive outcomes for all students, especially tactics that use a team approach, foster peer relationships, and help students develop empathy.
When bystanders become upstanders it not only helps the targets of bullying, but shows other bystanders how to take action to prevent or address bullying.
Content last reviewed on October 23, 2018. Stopbullying.gov
#Social Nobody Series
A body positivity model has shared the surprising apology message he received from his high school bully.
Mina Gerges share a screenshot of the text he received to his Twitter account.
‘Hey man, I just want to apologize for any fucked-up things I said to you or about you in high school. It weighs on me. I hope all is well. Cheers,’ the text read.
Gerges is Canadian/Egyptian model based in Toronto and said he loved how his bully had grown.
‘My high school bully just messaged me to apologize and tbh this is the kind of energy I need in 2019,’ Gerges wrote on Twitter.
‘I messaged him back and asked him why he thought about it 8 years later and he said he felt really bad about it for a while, should’ve been kinder instead, and wished he’d done it sooner. We love growth!’
Gerges shot to fame in 2015 for his epic recreations of celebrity’s looks. But a price of his new-found fame was that many people bullied him for his weight.
So, the model decided to shift his attention to promoting a body positive message after his online bullies drove him to have an eating disorder.
Gerges has been vocal about unrealistic beauty standards in the media. He has spoken out about how the lack of body diversity has always made him feel invisible.
He’s also said toxic masculinity ‘prevents men from speaking out about body image issues’.
Written by: Shannon Power. 31 December 2018. gaystarnews.com
#SOCIAL NOBODY SERIES
There are a number of reasons why someone may be bullied. They include everything from personality differences to being in the wrong place at the wrong time. What's more, anyone can be a target of bullying, even strong, athletic, and popular kids.
Bullying is about a wrong choice the bully makes, not some perceived defect in the target. The responsibility for bullying always falls on the bully's shoulders, not the victim's. Nonetheless, there a number of types of kids who are often the target of bullies.
Good at What They Do A lot of times kids will be bullied because they get a lot of positive attention from their peers and from adults. This attention could be everything from excelling in sports, making the cheerleading squad, or getting the editor’s position on the school newspaper.
Bullies target these students because they either feel inferior or they worry that their abilities are being overshadowed by the target’s abilities. As a result, they bully these kids hoping to make them feel insecure as well as make others doubt their abilities.
Intelligent, Determined, and Creative At school, these students go that extra mile on schoolwork. Or they learn very quickly and move through projects and assignments faster than other students. For instance, gifted students are often targeted for excelling in school. Bullies usually single them out because they are jealous of this attention.
Personal Vulnerabilities Children who are introverted, anxious, or submissive are more likely to be bullied than kids who are extroverted and assertive. In fact, some researchers believe that kids who lack self-esteem may attract kids who are prone to bully. What's more, kids who engage in people-pleasing are often targeted by bullies because they are easy to manipulate.
Finally, research shows that kids suffering from depression or stress-related conditions may also be more likely to be bullied, which often makes the condition worse. Bullies select these kids because they are an easy mark and less likely to fight back. Most bullies want to feel powerful, so they often choose kids that are weaker than them.
Few or No Friends Many victims of bullying tend to have fewer friends than children who do not experience bullying. They may be rejected by their peers, excluded from social events, and may even spend lunch and recess alone.
Parents and teachers can prevent bullying of socially-isolated students by helping them develop friendships. Bystanders can also support these students by befriending them.
Research shows that if a child has at least one friend, his chances of being bullied reduce dramatically. Without a friend to back them up, these kids are more likely to be targeted by bullies because they do not have to worry about someone coming to the victim's aid.
Popular or Well-Liked Sometimes bullies target popular or well-liked children because of the threat they pose to the bully. Mean girls are especially likely to target a girl who threatens their popularity or social standing.
A lot of relational aggression is directly linked to an attempt to climb the social ladder. Kids will spread rumors, engage in name-calling, and even resort to cyberbullying in an effort to destroy their popularity. When these kids are targeted, the bully is looking to discredit the victims and make them less likable.
Physical Features That Attract Attention Almost any type of physical characteristic that is different or unique can attract the attention of bullies. It may be that the victim is short, tall, thin, or obese. They might wear glasses or have acne, a large nose, or ears that stick out. It really doesn't matter what it is, the bully will pick a feature and distort it into a target.
Many times, this type of bullying is extremely painful and damaging to a young person's self-esteem. Most bullies that target these kids get some enjoyment from making fun of others. Other times, they are looking for a laugh at another person's expense.
The best way to combat a bully who targets this type of person is to take away his audience.
An Illness or Disability Bullies often target special needs children. This can include children who have Asperger’s, autism, ADHD, dyslexia, or any condition that sets them apart. Kids with conditions like food allergies, asthma, Down syndrome, and other conditions also can be targeted by bullies. When this happens, the bullies show a lack of empathy or are making jokes at another person's expense.
It is very important for teachers and parents to make sure these kids have a support group with them to help defend against bullying. It also helps if the general student population frowns on this type of bullying in particular. If bullies know this is taboo, they are less likely to do it.
Sexual Orientation More often than not, kids are bullied for being gay. In fact, some of the most brutal bullying incidents have involved children who are bullied for their sexual orientation. If left unchecked, prejudicial bullying can result in serious hate crimes. As a result, it is essential that LGBT students be given a solid support network in order to keep them safe.
Religious or Cultural Beliefs It is not uncommon for kids to be bullied for their religious beliefs. One example of this type of bullying includes the treatment Muslim students received after the 9/11 tragedy. However, any student can be bullied for their religious beliefs. Both Christian students and Jewish students are often ridiculed for their beliefs and practices as well.
Bullying based on different religious beliefs usually stems from a lack of understanding as well as a lack of tolerance for believing something different.
Race Sometimes kids will bully others because they are of a different race. For instance, white students may single out black students and bully them. Or black students may single out white students and bully them.
It happens with all races and in all directions. No race is exempt from being bullied, and no race is exempt from having bullies. Just like with religious bullying, these students are singled out for no other reason than the fact that they're different.
A Word From Verywell While each of these characteristics may be exploited by bullies, they in no way are faults that victims should change. Remember, bullying is about the bully making a bad choice. It is important that this fact is communicated to victims of bullying. They need to be reminded that there is nothing wrong with them and they are not to blame for being targeted.
Written by: Sherri Gordon. Reviewed by: Joel Forman, MD. 20 November 2018. Verywellfamily.com
#SOCIAL NOBODY SERIES
A five-year-old boy who enjoys wearing nail polish “feels like a superhero” after he received support from people around the world.
Aaron Gouveia, the child’s father attracted praise after paining his nails to encourage his son Sam. The Massachusetts-based father-of-three said this “made all the difference in the world to Sam and helped convince him to keep his nail polish on.”
Sam was taunted by fellow students, after wearing a new shade of red glitter nail polish.
For Gouveia, this was a mixed blessing.
“Obviously I was relieved by the fact that he stayed true to himself but, as a parent, you’re always worried about your kids being picked on,” he said.
“But in the end, he had a great next day of school and no one made fun of him, the school rallied around him, and he feels like a superhero with all this attention.”
The dad, who works as a director at a Boston PR firm, admitted he was “glad he’s got two brothers who will knock him down a few pegs if his head gets too big!”
But he added that he was “very proud” of Sam, and also of his “10-year-old, Will, who went into his fifth-grade classroom with painted nails in solidarity with his brother.
“That’s not easy at that age but he did it and he didn’t care if he took crap for it because he was behind his brother 100 percent.”
Gouveia explained that he decided to chronicle Sam’s experience on Twitter—even though, as he said at the time, “my rage meter is spiking”—to try and make a difference in how gender was viewed.
#SOCIAL NOBODY SERIES Bravo to New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who delivered an anti-bullying message that aired on the "Ellen" show this week. Brees is speaking out after a rash of suicides among gay teens, many the victims of bullies (of course, not all victims of bullies are gay but LGBT teens are a very at-risk group). See video below.
The text of Brees' message:
“If you think that making fun of someone is harmless, you’re wrong. If you think it’s OK to do because everyone else is doing it, you’re wrong. Bully has to stop, and it has to start with you.
I want my fans to know that if you’re making fun of someone because they’re different then you are no friend of mine. And if you are being bullied and you feel like one supports you, I want you to know that there is support. I support you. Making fun of someone because they’re different from you? That’s not being tough, it’s being ignorant. Appreciate people for how they are different from you: That’s what it takes to be a friend.”
Watch the video:
#SOCIAL NOBODY SERIES Roughly, every second person has experienced bullying at some point in their life, and over 83% of young people admit that these events affected their self-esteem. College time is not an exception. Like any violence, bullying leaves scars, be they physical, emotional, or both. This problem is very difficult to deal with, especially when you are a victim.
However, ‘difficult’ doesn’t mean ‘impossible’, so you can break out of this situation if you take appropriate action.
Understand Bullying and What Drives It
One can say that humans are violent creatures by nature or that they learn to be this way from the examples they see in early childhood. There is a violent cycle in our society where bullies are practically ‘made’ by either adopting this behavior from witnessing it at home or reversing to it as a coping mechanism. It’s quite surprising, but many of the current bullies have been victimized and started act this way as a way of coping.
As a victim in a bullying situation, you need to understand the reasons that push your abusers because this is necessary for you to see the most important truth.
The truth is that you are NOT the problem. It is NOT your fault.
The majority of victims remain this way simply because they don’t have the courage to speak up and do something about their situation. It usually occurs because one of the basic bullying tactics is to hit one’s self-esteem and make them believe that they are at fault and deserve to be abused.
It isn’t the truth, and the first thing you must do to deal with bullies is to understand that they have no power over you. The second best thing to do is to seek legal advice. Having a legal counsel to protect your rights would be imperative in this case, especially if the bullying has resulted in physical injuries.
Deal with Bullying in College: Tactics for Any SituationAlthough all bullies follow a similar pattern (which is intimidation and humiliation of someone weaker to get an ego boost out of the deal), no two cases are the same. Therefore, you might need to implement different methods depending on the situation.
Ignore the bullyBullies get the enjoyment from the reaction they incur from their victims, and in most cases, they aren’t prepared to elevate the level of violence in their approach. It means that NOT giving a reaction makes you ‘unappealing’ and might be enough to make the abuser go away on their own.
You can augment this tactic by responding in a firm and calm manner. Simply saying ‘Stop’ or ‘Leave me alone’ should suffice. Just don’t get agitated as getting the rise out of you is exactly what the bully wants.
Get help from an adultEven when you are an independent and self-sufficient college student, getting help from an adult in a bullying situation is the right thing to do. First of all, this is a very serious matter and your reporting the abuse might help other people who are forced into a similar situation.
Second, adult authority figures (professors, counselors, supervisors, etc.) may have the means to deal with the bully more efficiently. Depending on the circumstances, they may offer advice or take some practical steps, such as expelling the bully or meting out appropriate punishment.
Stand up for yourselfNote that this doesn’t mean answering violence with violence. What you need to do is to show the bully that you aren’t a victim. You can do this by standing tall and proud, showing the abuser that their words don’t matter.
You are an amazing person, and you mustn’t put yourself down. So, just tell the bully that they are wrong about you and walk away back to your friends. If you don’t have any, now would be a great time to join some group that shares your interests and would provide you with support (and watch your back) in case you encounter a bully.
Written By: David Gutierrez. Stanford Univeristy. 09 March, 2017.
#SOCIAL NOBODY SERIES A safe and supportive school climate can help prevent bullying. Safety starts in the classroom. Students should also feel and be safe everywhere on campus—in the cafeteria, in the library, in the rest rooms, on the bus, and on the playground. Everyone at school can work together to create a climate where bullying is not acceptable.
These meetings work best in classrooms where a culture of respect is already established. Classroom meetings are typically short and held on a regular schedule. They can be held in a student’s main classroom, home room, or advisory period.
United States Department of Health and Human Services. stopbullying.gov
Nine-year-old Jamel Myles took his own life this past Thursday after being bullied at school. His mother believes that he was bullied for being gay.
Leia Piece told Fox 21 Denver that she found her son dead at their home, only four days after he started Joe Shoemaker Elementary School, he was a fourth grader.
While on summer break, Jamel came out to his mother while driving. “I thought he was playing. “So I looked back because I was driving and he was all curled up, so scared. And I said, ‘I still love you,’” she stated.
Pierce said her son wanted to dress less masculine. ”Can I be honest with you?’,” she remembered. “And I was like ‘Sure’, and he’s like, ‘I know you buy me boy stuff because I’m a boy, but I’d rather dress like a girl.'”
She also explained that her son was eager to tell his new classmates because he was proud of who he was, however, it appears that his openness had some tragic consequences.
“Four days is all it took at school. I could just imagine what they said to him,” recalled Pierce. “My son told my oldest daughter the kids at school told him to kill himself. I’m just sad he didn’t come to me.”
The Denver Police are currently investigating the death as a suicide, and the Denver Public School district sent out a letter informing parents of extra social workers and crisis teams at all schools.
Pierce wants to spread awareness about bullying and the harm it can do to individuals. “We should have accountability for bullying. I think the child should. Because the child knows it’s wrong. The child wouldn’t want someone to do it to them. I think the parent should be held because obviously the parents are either teaching them to be like that, or they’re treating them like that,” she urged.
Currently, there are 50 states that have some sort of anti-bullying laws. But it has been reported that most of the laws are notoriously difficult to implement at ground level and just as impossible to ensure that all school districts follow through or adhere to the policies.
The National Center for Educational Statistics in 2016 reported that one out of every five students report being bullied, down by 8% since the organization began collecting data in 2005.
Of the students bullied, data reveals that 13% were victims of verbal abuse, 12% were the basis of rumors, 5% felt excluded on a regular basis and 5% endured physical abuse.
The data shows that the most frequent forms of bullying are based on ethnicity, disability, appearance, sexual orientation, gender, and religion.
For the school, the costs of bullying are countless hours consumed in tackling a problem that is resistant to change, truancies, reduced student retention, low teacher morale, negative perceptions of the school by the wider community and parent hostility. The school campus becomes a place where many kids are marginalized and where no-one feels safe. As students become alienated from school, academic performance declines. Schools are increasingly sued for failing to provide a safe learning environment and are being held liable for the harassment, violence and suicides caused by bullying.
Schools are a primary place where bullying can happen. Helping to establish a supportive and safe school climate where all students are accepted and knowing how to respond when bullying happens are key to making sure all students are able to learn and grow. There are many tools on StopBullying.gov specific for teachers, administrators, and other school staff.
10 CAUSES OF BULLYING:
SOCIAL NOBODY SERIES
You won't believe what happens to the bully in this video! This short film tells the story of Angela, an elderly woman who is bullied by a group of teenagers at a bus stop. She crosses paths again with, Carter, one of the bullies. Their confrontation leads to an unexpected outcome.
Inspired by the true bullying story of Karen Klein.
Caption Author: Oreodragon61