Becoming an Upstander

Becoming an Upstander. Move from silence to action. Bystanders contribute to the problem. Upstanders stop the problem. Research shows that others speaking out or taking action stops bullying behavior over half the time within seconds!

There are different types of bystanders. Which one are you?

  1. Some participate in starting the bullying
  2. Some laugh or give attention to the bullying thereby encouraging it
  3. Some join in the bullying once is started
  4. Some are silent - this silence is most often misinterpreted by the bully as support for the bullying and interpreted by the victim as betrayal and support for the bully

Progression from Inaction to Action

It takes courage to be an upstander. Upstanders are kids who do something that prevents or reduces the bullying they see, or comes to the aid of another child who is being bullied by showing them kindness. Moving from being a bystander to becoming an upstander may not happen overnight. It may start with becoming more aware of the bullying behavior and how it is affecting the lives of the victims. Upstanders begin to feel a sense of anger about the injustice they are witnessing. Upstanders are able to see the pain the victim experiences and take action.

Becoming an Upstander looks like this

  1. Take action by telling the bully to stop
  2. Take action by getting others to stand up with them to the bully
  3. Take action by helping the victim
  4. Take action by shifting the focus and redirecting the bully away from the victim
  5. Take action by telling an adult who can help

Becoming an Upstander

  1. Takes courage - Telling a friend who is bullying to stop is hard. They may be mad at you. But at least you won't feel guilt for being silent and allowing the bullying to continue. And you will be doing your friend a huge favor in the end by helping them stop really hurtful behavior.
  2. Takes action - Doing something that does not support the bullying can be a really small intervention with big results! Three words - "That is bullying" - can cause others to recognize the problem.
  3. Takes assertiveness - Telling a friend how their behavior makes you feel and how it affects others requires being able to use your voice!
  4. Takes compassion - Upstanders have the gift of compassion. They recognize when someone is hurt and take steps to help.
  5. Takes leadership - Upstanders are leaders in their social group, helping others to recognize ways to get along and be supportive to others.