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Stop Bullying: Be a Powerful Bystander

Now that we understand the impact of bullying on young people, what do we do about it? Too often when we talk about taking action we focus only on the bully and the victim. But bullying doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Bullying takes place in a social context and bystanders can either help stop bullying or fuel cruelty. Talk with your kids about the powerful role they can play to stop bullying by being a good bystander.

Don’t participate:

  • Never egg on, laugh, or encourage the bully in any way.
  • Don’t like, share, or tag mean comments on social media.
  • Walk away and make it clear that it is not cool.
  • Report to a trusted adult to stop bullying.

Step in:

  • If you feel safe, say something like, “Hey, stop it.” Or “That’s not funny.”
  • Get a trusted adult involved.

Be a friend:

  • Reach out to the person being bullied to let them know they aren’t alone.
  • Send a sympathetic text to the target or sit with them at lunch.
  • Ask the target if they are okay.

Set a good example:

  • Don’t use language that insults someone based on their sexual orientation, race, or other categories of difference.
  • Work to include kids that don’t have a lot of friends or support.
  • Don’t make or laugh at inappropriate jokes, even if the target of the joke isn’t there.