Bullying and cyberbullying are a part of growing up today. Surveys show that nearly 30 percent of middle and high school students have been bullied at school and 43 percent have experienced cyberbullying in the past year.
Those witnesses, the bystanders, are the key to ending bullying, say experts interviewed by besmartbewell.com.
“Bystanders have a powerful influence in preventing bullying,” says Julie Hertzog, director of PACER’S National Bullying Prevention Center. “It has such power when peers are saying, ‘nobody deserves to be harmed; everybody deserves to be treated with respect.'”
In two new videos at besmartbewell.com, anti-bullying experts and high school students offer tips for how bystanders can stand up to bullying.
Many kids witness bullying in traditional settings like school hallways; but cyberbullying has heightened the intensity by providing a much broader audience. Many kids don’t initiate cyberbullying, but add fuel to the fire by liking, sharing or commenting on online posts that attack another person.
“It’s so easy to say something and not even realize the impact that it’s having on people,” says a teen in Bullies and Bystanders: What Teens Say.