Have you ever observed someone being mistreated or bullied? Have you just walked by and ignored what was happening? If you have, then you are considered a bystander. Have you contemplated the fact that if you do nothing you are part of the problem? To ignore a bully you are basically agreeing that it is okay for him/her to continue to harm the targeted person.

An “UPSTANDER” is someone who recognizes when something is wrong and acts to make it right. “When an upstander sees or hears about someone being bullied, they speak up. Being an upstander is being a hero: we are standing up for what is right and doing our best to help support and protect someone who is being hurt.”


There are four basic ways to be an UPSTANDER;

1. Be a buddy

2. Interrupt

3. Speak out

4. Tell someone


To elaborate on some skills of an UPSTANDER;

Being a buddy to the targeted individual is walking up to him/her and pulling them away from the situation ‘ literally or physically.

“Hey, Marie we are headed over to the slide, come on I will let you get in front of me.”


Interrupting the bully is actually interrupting the action with words or with humor.

“Hey Clay what are you doing after school today? We were going to play football and thought you might want to play.”

“ Hey Clay knock knock….”


Speaking out may be hard for many individuals, but a little bit of courage goes a long way!

“Hey Clay, what are you doing? That is sooo not cool….”


Or just like dolphins who swim in a pod, there is strength in numbers. Sometimes speaking out is not with words but the simple action of several of you going to stand side by side with the person who is targeted, crossing your arms in front of your body and just standing there.


If you aren’t a person who can do any of the above three, then go tell an adult. Let the adult know the facts. Telling is different from tattling. The difference is keeping the targeted person from being harmed.


Next time you see someone being mistreated, be an UPSTANDER not a bystander. Spread the word and let’s put a stop to the mistreatment of others.