The JAG (Jointly Achieving Growth) bullyproof programme has highlighted ‘The bystander effect’ which speaks to the importance that bystanders to bullying experiences have.
The initiative explains that bystanders have the power to play a key role in preventing or stopping bullying and can either contribute to the problem or the solution. It is vital to identify and explain to children that as bystanders they do not play a neutral role in bullying situations. It reveals three main bystander groups namely hurtful bystanders, helpful bystanders and neutral bystanders.
As explained above, bystanders do not play neutral roles, as children who are identified as neutral or passive bystanders without realising it, do contribute to the problem. This is because they provide an audience that the bully wants and the silent acceptance that allows the bullies to continue bullying.
JAGbullyproof further explains that to cultivate children into becoming helpful bystanders, the different ways in which they can make a difference needs to be spoken about with them. They also need to be assured that they will be supported by their peers, teachers and parents if they were to step forward. This is important as in the minds of your children there is a fine line between being a ‘tattletale’and being a helpful bystander.
They need to know that by stepping forward against bullies they are being heroes, and are doing the right thing and shouldn’t be ridiculed into believing otherwise, thereby becoming a victim of bullying themselves. JAGbullyproof: jagfoundation.org.za
Alongside JAGbullyproof, STOPit solutions have been combating bullying in schools on an international scale.
STOPit has claimed a 50 per cent reduction in reported incidents in schools using the STOP!T system. It has allowed schools to take on a proactive role in dealing with incidents of bullying and harassment, improving students’ learning environments and educational experience. To become a STOP!T-protected school, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org or 084 400 5995.
He will help find your school a sponsor so that it costs you nothing.