A bystander is anyone who witnesses bullying when it happens. There are several types of bystander;
- Assistants: who help the bully and join in the bullying.
- Re-enforcers: who provide support to the bully.
- Outsiders: Stay away not taking sides, providing the bully with silent approval.
- Defenders: Comfort the victim, try to actively stop the bullying.
- Passive defenders: not involved but dislike the bullying.
Bystanders often don’t try to help because:
- They may be concerned for their own safety.
- Don’t know what they should do to help.
- Afraid that they may be picked on.
- Does one student have more power over the other?
What can my school do to prevent bullying?
One of the most effective methods of bullying prevention in a community is to use the ‘Whole School Community Approach’. This involves the entire school community; staff, parents, pupils and other school staff.
This approach is about bullying prevention and intervention to reduce bullying. Some examples of this are;
- Awareness days to highlight the types of bullying.
- Increased playground supervision.
- An anti-bullying policy.
Always remember that everyone in a school community has a responsibility to:
- Avoid engaging in bullying behaviour;
- Discourage and intervene when you witness bullying behaviour;
- Assist and give support to those targeted;
- Report incidents.