Bystanders are the people that we sometimes perceive as innocent. They are the ones who are seemingly not bothered by what is going on. Children who are targets look at the bystanders and think, “Why can’t that be me?” They seem to be in the perfect situation. No one is bothering them and they are not living through the daily hell that is the life of a target.
In reality, these people are just as guilty as the bully themselves. We need to stop dismissing them. Many say they won’t get involved because it is not their business. The truth of the matter is they need to get involved. We need to encourage our children to intervene on someone else’s behalf. Isn’t that what we would want someone else to do for our child?
I know that when my son was being bullied, many parents told me that their child would step in on my son’s behalf. It is what they wanted to think, but the reality was that none of them did. If we are real about it, stepping in and standing up for someone can be difficult. Children of all ages need to realize that there is safety in numbers. When many stand as one, bully’s stand less of a chance.
This day and age, we have bystanders who are holding phones with video cameras. If those bystanders then go on to post video of pictures of the incident, then they have just turned into a bully as well. We can only hope that if it is being videotaped or photographed, the bystander is intending to turn in those who are doing the harm.
As parents, we need to continue to impress upon our children that there is safety in numbers and we all need to protect those who are getting bullied. I believe that this is a very difficult thing for children to do, but we need to continue to encourage them to defend those who are targeted. We all must do our part to help diminish the bullying that takes place in our schools.