Four Important Safety Rules For National Bullying Bystanders Unite Week
The third full week of October (this year, Oct. 14-20) is National Bullying Bystanders Unite Week. The campaign, which was launched in 2010, is in honor of a tween who was brutally bullied while 20 of his classmates stood by and did nothing to help.
Bullying Bystanders Unite, created by the bullying prevention nonprofit organization Hey U.G.L.Y. – Unique Gifted Lovable You (HU) with the police department, gives youth and adults important rules to safely come to the aid of someone being bullied. There is also a pledge drive on the website that covers three important bystander issues.
The reason most bystanders don’t intercede in bullying situations, or report them to authorities is because they think stepping in will make them a target for the bully. They also believe reporting on a bully is snitching which is why it is imperative people know that most police departments and school administration have hot lines in place where people can report anonymously.
At least 85 percent of the school student population are bystanders to bullying who, if informed, can be part of the solution to bullying.
To that end HU worked with the police department to create the following safety rules which are posted on Bullying Bystanders Unite dot org, a website.
BULLYING BYSTANDERS UNITE SAFETY RULES:
IF YOU WITNESS PHYSICAL BULLYING
Rule Number 1: If you see ONE bully physically hurting someone and you are alone go to a safe place and call 911 then find an adult and ask them to help out.
Rule Number 2: If you see ONE bully physically hurting someone and you are with at least four friends have one immediately call 911. Have another quickly find an adult while the remaining two go to a safe place where they can witness the bullying but not be seen by the bully. If possible, use your cell phone to record the incident. Give the video footage to a trusted adult. DO NOT POST IT ON THE INTERNET.
IF YOU SEE VERBAL/EMOTIONAL BULLYING
Rule Number 1: If you are alone, walk over to the person being bullied and tell them you need their help to do something. Then take them away from the bully as calmly, but quickly as you can. Go to the principal’s office and tell him/her what you saw.
Rule Number 2: If you are in a group, form a circle around the person being bullied and tell them you want to hang out with them. Then get them away from the bully. Take them to a trusted adult and report what you saw.
According to Michigan City, Indiana Police Chief, Mark Swistek, it is important you “be careful not to enter into the struggle unless you can be assisted by others. Be the best witness you can be by observing or recording the occurrence and other necessary information. This rule also applies to adults. If you’re unsure of your abilities or cannot be assisted by others, we encourage witnesses to immediately call 911 and stand by to provide us with the information related to the incident. You can also report anonymously.”
For more information, or to take the pledge, go to BullyingBystandersUnite.org. Hey U.G.L.Y. is a 501 (c)(3) Nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering youth to be part of the solution to bullying with self-esteem and empathy-building programs, radio show, speakers, and curriculum.