Ask Something Fierce…Don’t get Scolded! Week 3

Mcpherson

Dear McPherson,

My friend is being bullied by another girl, and she won’t tell an adult about it. Administrators don’t always take bullying claims seriously. Should I tell someone or let her deal with it by herself? I don’t want her to get mad at me, but I want to do the right thing.

Sincerely,
A concerned friend

 

 

Dear Friend,

Thank you for being concerned. Friends are actually a really important part of stopping the bullying cycle. You are what counselors call “Bystanders.” Your friend is the “Victim,” and the person who is bothering her is called the “Bully.” Bystanders (people who witness the bullying) can act in one of three ways. They can join the bully, making the problem worse. They can ignore the situation, or they can do something to help. Obviously, choosing to help is the best scenario for a positive outcome. You have chosen to help, so congratulations!

So, how can you be a bystander who helps? First, you have asked for advice. That is a great beginning! Second, if you don’t feel physically threatened, you can help stand up to the bully. I don’t mean to pick a fight – I mean do something to show that the way the bully is acting is not cool. Keep the victim surrounded by friends so the bully does not have access. And finally, involve an adult if the situation is more than you can handle on your own. You are not being a bad friend if you find you need to involve a grown-up. The most important thing is keeping your friend emotionally and physically safe.

 

Sincerely,

McPherson