One of the lessons in our Rainbow Rabbit Anti-Bullying Educational Program is called Witnessing Bullying Situations. In the lesson, students are taught how to address/handle various bullying situations by utilizing strategies.
This is a very pivotal lesson in the program. Eight out of 10 times, other students are witnesses to bullying. Even though most students do not approve of bullying behaviors, however, not many intervene on behalf of those being bullied.
Why is this? Usually because they don’t know how to be responsible in those situations, or they are afraid of being bullied themselves.
All of this once again emphasizes the importance of having these lessons taught at a very young age—which is what our program does.
The following article was written by freelance writer Mark Olmsted, who dodged several bullying-related incidents growing up. According to Olmsted, you can’t assume a child “will do the right thing unless they know exactly what the right thing looks like.”
Trump’s reversal of the Obama policies recommending protections of trans kids in schools is yet another reminder that it is an increasingly perilous to be anything but a white, straight Christian male in this country.
Schools districts may make the right rules against bullying, but those are particularly difficult to enforce in spaces generally devoid of adult supervision, like bathrooms. In certain areas of the country, cultural attitudes among the staff itself can even abet the abuse, as teachers and administrators look away when they quietly share the belief that trans and gay kids need correction, not protection.
Every parent in America will tell you that they are against bullying – including the parents of bullies, who almost universally deny that their “good” kid could possibly be involved (or might have even learned the behavior at home). Of course, their distress doesn’t compare to that of a bullied kid and his/her parents. But our tendency to focus on either perpetrator or victim ignores a third group that is essential to battling this problem; the parents of children who are bystanders to bullying. Their kids constitute the silent majority who witness what they know is wrong but say or do nothing about it. Their acquiescence is often taken by the victimizer as assent – even encouragement.
These kids do not step up because they haven’t been taught to step up.
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