Be a Bully “Upstander”

coolMs. Gilmour, the teacher, greeted each of the kids as they came into class.

Tanner, Nicole, Stephen, Carmen, Rudy and Truman the Dragon all greeted her in return.

She began by asking, “Do any of you remember what we talked about last time?” Some had their hands up, and others had blank looks on their faces.

Tanner said, “We’ve been talking a lot about bullying.”

Carmen added, “We talked about kids who bully, and kids who are bullied.”

Then Rudy jumped in and said, “But last time we talked about kids who see bullying happening, but don’t do anything about it.”

Ms. Gilmour then said, “And what did we call kids who do that?”

Truman the Dragon sadly said, “They are bully bystanders.”

She then added, “Truman is right; they are called bully bystanders. They don’t do anything when they see someone being hurt or picked on. How would you feel if you were the one being hurt?”

Everyone said that wouldn’t be kind or cool.

She then went on, “If bully bystanders ‘stand by’ and don’t do anything, what might we call someone who sees bullying happen and does do something about it?”

The kids weren’t sure about that question.

Ms. Gilmour then said, “I went on Google and found that The Bully Project, STOMP Out Bullying and Bully Bust are some of the organizations that support being a “BULLY UPSTANDER.” Ms. Gilmour continued, “Now let’s see what we can do to be Bully Upstanders.”

Truman was waving his hand. “Don’t we have to know what bullying is first?”upstander

Ms. Gilmour agreed that was right. So she said, “Then the first thing to do is to learn which things are bullying, why kids bully, where it takes place and how it affects kids.”

Rudy added, “When we see someone being bullied, we should report it.”

Everyone agreed that was a good thing to do.

Nicole said, “We need to get our friends involved, just like we have been with the Cool Kind Kid Challenge.”

Ms. Gilmour added, “So let’s make this a challenge; get more kids to be bully upstanders.”

Stephen said, “I know lots of kids who are spreading nasty, hurtful rumors on the Internet. Maybe we need to stop doing that and get our friends to stop doing that, too.”

Tanner added, “I see kids who are alone in school and who are getting picked on. We should be friends to them. We could eat lunch with them. I think a Cool Kind Kid is the one who shows kindness to someone and doesn’t have to hang out with the ‘cool’ kids.”

There were lots of high fives for that.

Ms. Gilmour ended the class by asking the kids to Google BULLY UPSTANDERS and see what else they could find out.

“When you come back, we’ll continue talking about Bully Upstanders and how they can help prevent bullying from happening.”

The kids all gave that a thumbs up as they walked out of class.

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