10 Ways to be an Upstander

“The only way to stop bullying is if we all acknowledge that it is hurtful and wrong and vow to stand up for what is right.” Gabriela, 7th Grade Student

October is National Anti-Bullying Month. The information and activities featured today were taken from the Newspapers in Education supplement, “Stand Up To Bullying.”  The tab was created to help raise awareness about the harmful effects of bullying and draws from the prevention materials and supports offered by the BullyBust campaign of the National School Climate Center (NSCC).  This is part 4.

10 Ways to be an Upstander

1. Help others who are being bullied. Be a friend, even if this person is not yet your friend. Go over to them. Let them know how you think they are feeling. Walk with them. Help them to talk to an adult about what has happened. (Just think for a moment about how great this would be if someone did this for you when you were being picked on or hurt!)

2. Stop untrue or harmful messages from spreading. If someone tells you a rumor that you know is untrue or sends you a message that is hurtful to someone else, stand up and let the person know this is wrong. Think about how you would feel if someone spread an untrue rumor about you. Don’t laugh, send the message on to friends or add to the story. Make it clear that you do not think that kind of behavior is cool or funny.

3. Get friends involved. Let people know that you are an upstander and encourage them to be one, too. Bullies often target people who are alone. You and your friends can help prevent a bad situation by creating a group of support for the person being bullied.

4. Make friends outside of your circle. Eat lunch with someone who is alone. Show support for a person who is upset at school, by asking them what is wrong or bringing them to an adult who can help.

5. Be aware of the bullying policy at your school and keep it in mind when you witness bullying. If there isn’t a policy, get involved or ask teachers or front office staff to speak about how you can reduce bullying.

6. If someone is new at your school, make an effort to introduce them around and make them comfortable. Imagine how you would feel leaving your friends and coming to a new school.

7. Refuse to be a bystander.  If you see friends or classmates laughing along with a bully, tell them that they are contributing to the problem. Let them know that by laughing they are also bullying the victim.

8. Respect others’ differences and help others to respect differences. It’s cool for people to be different and that’s what makes all of us unique. Join a diversity club at school to help promote tolerance in your school.

9. Ask your teacher or principal to develop a bullying program or project that will help reduce bullying in school. Ask them to bring together a team of students, parents and teachers to meet as Stand Up Ambassadors to talk about bullying on a regular basis and share stories and support. Talk about the hot spots where bullying most likely occurs (the bus, bathroom, an unmonitored hallway) and what can be done on a school level to make sure students and teachers are on the same page about bullying.

10. Learn more about bullying. For example: Why do kids bully? Where does bullying take place most often in your school? What are the effectsof bullying? Why are people afraid to get involved? Understanding this information will help you if you are bullied and will help you to stand up to bullies if a friend or class-mate is being bullied.

Every day we have the opportunity to make our schools (and our world!) a better place. Putting an end to bullying is everyone’s responsibility. Read the Stand Up Pledge below to see how YOU can help today.

The Stand Up Pledge.

I will always:

Support those around me who are being bullied or victimized.

Tell a friend, teacher or parent when I see someone being bullied.

Ask myself, “How would I want to be treated?

Note where and when bullying occurs (bathroom, playground, online).

Do something when I see someone being bullied be an UPSTANDER.

Understand why bullies bully

Practice being a good role model for my fellow students and share STAND UP to Bullies strategies

Join thousands of students and adults from across the country by pledging your commitment to make a difference in your school and community. Sign the pledge today at: www.bullybust.org!

One thought on “10 Ways to be an Upstander

  1. This is very helpful information. I wonder if any school districts have actual classwork on bullying and behavioral issues, throughout the school year? Also, we all know it’s breast cancer awareness month and how to help, is there any fund or organization that targets bullying and provides educational tools to combat this problem. Bullying to me is like a disease, you have to be very aggressive when fighting it, not just one month during the year, but all year.

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