One of your most important tasks as an Agent of Change is to support your friends and classmates who are the targets of bullying. Read the steps below to gain the skills needed to complete this operation.
1. BE AVAILABLE FOR CONVERSATION
If you know someone being bullied, let them know you care by encouraging them to talk about their experiences and share their emotions. Here are some ways to connect:
- Listen without judgment
- Show empathy for what they are experiencing
- Let them know they have the right to talk about what’s happening
- Ask questions that let them talk through their experience and emotions
- React with support and compassion
2. SHOW YOUR SUPPORT
Bullying brings people down. You can build them back up with encouraging words and actions. Show support for the person being bullied. Here are a few ideas on how to do this:
- Speak up, your words matter.
ACTION: Say “You didn’t deserve to be treated that way.”
- Reach out, your actions are important.
ACTION: Invite them to sit with you at lunch or other events.
- Be a friend, build them up.
ACTION: Compliment them and their talents.
3. REDIRECT THE SITUATION
Peers can be very effective at intervening in a bullying situation. Change the direction of the situation to a more positive course. It’s not easy to speak up against a wave of negativity – but when one person speaks up, others will follow.
If you see bullying in person:
- Help the person being bullied get away from the situation
- Ask them to walk with you
- Change the subject when verbal bullying starts
- Say something positive about the person being bullied
If you see cyberbullying:
- Take a screenshot
- Write something positive in response
- Reach out to the person being bullied to support
- Report it to a parent or an adult
4. TALK WITH AN ADULT
In situations where you’re not sure what to do, seek advice from an adult you trust. An adult, such as a parent or teacher, can help you decide how to deal with the situation while ensuring everyone stays safe. Here are some ideas:
- Tell the adult you’re coming to them because someone is going through a situation they can’t fix on their own
- Emphasize that you want the bullying to stop and that the behavior has hurt the person targeted and others
- Decide together what steps you can take
- Thank them for listening and caring
Get others involved! As an Agent of Change, it is also your job to recruit others for the mission. Real change happens when we work together.