It is never “okay”. But it does happen and each one of us is responsible for how we respond.
In an excerpt from his book, The Bullying Breakthrough, Jonathan McKee defines a bystander as someone who watches and does nothing. The problem is that bystanders hurt others just the same. It’s a sin of omission. Bystanders know they should probably do something, but they don’t.
Jonathan McKee believes bystanders don’t need to do what their name implies: stand by. They can stand up and do something. In fact, he argues that we can help our kids truly make a bullying breakthrough by teaching them the 5 Rs:
- Recognize the effects of bullying. Many bystanders have never paused to think through the ramifications of laughing at someone, teasing them … or watching and doing nothing.
- Realize you can make a huge impact. One kid can make a huge difference. Really. Just one.
- Resolve not to bully others. Compassion with action is nothing. Resolve is the decision to take actions.
- Refuse to join in. Bullies thrive on attention and affirmation. Give them neither.
Bystanders must learn to avoid:
- Laughing at jokes at the expense of others.
- Listening to rumors, gossip, or hate speech from anyone.
- Physically standing with a group that is mocking or gossiping about other.
If bullies don’t receive any affirmation or attention, they’ll usually stop.
Please share the 5 Rs with your son or daughter. We can all make a difference at OCS if we choose to “stand up” and not “stand by.”
If you would like to read more, the entire excerpt can be found at the link below: