Research by the Secret Service on school shootings found most shooters were bullied and harassed. Hey U.G.L.Y.’s team thought…we, the bystanders, could do our part to stop the development of a school shooter by coming to their aid, and befriending, any students we see being bullied or emotionally isolated. Statistics show when bystanders intervene bullying stops within 10 seconds 57% of the time. Helping can also benefit the bystander. Research has shown bystanders who do nothing can suffer guilt, fear, and anxiety which has been known to lead to substance abuse, personality disorders and self-harm. So why don’t we step in and help? Hey U.G.L.Y. asked 6,000 students why they didn’t come to the aid of someone being bullied. The top two reasons are: #1 they are afraid the bully will bully them, and #2 they didn’t want to be seen as a snitch. That is why we created the I SEE BULLYING APP which helps bystanders, in real time, ‘safely’ come to the aid of someone being bullied in ways that allow them to be anonymous. AND, since suicide is the second leading cause of death of young people, we believe…if snitching could save a life, then we are going to snitch!
Hey U.G.L.Y. has been involved in the bullying bystander movement since 2011 when we helped a seventh-grade student who was brutally bullied while 20 students stood around and did nothing to help him. Working with Michigan City, IN police officer, Marty Corley and former police chief, Mark Swistek, we created safety rules to help bystanders safely come to the aid of those being bullied. Scroll down to read the rules or click above to download the ISeeBullyingAPP.
In honor of bullied youth, we created NATIONAL BULLYING BYSTANDERS UNITE WEEK which is celebrated annually during the third week of October. Scroll down to see how to get involved.
Besides physical and verbal bullying, the Secret Service, on page 41 of their USSS Averting Targeted School Violence Report, points to how social bullying, publicly embarrassing, spreading rumors, isolating, etc. can cause deep psychological problems in victims of bullying.
Click here to watch a music video that shows the positive impact we, the bystanders, can make in a bullied classmates’ life by just being KIND. The video and inspiring song were created by students from Dalhousie Middle School in Canada, who won first place in Hey U.G.L.Y.’s Video Contest.
Let’s do our part to spread inclusion and kindness throughout our schools and the world. Together we can save lives. NOTE TO THE POPULAR STUDENTS: Your opinions and actions carry a lot of weight in your school. Be the example you want others to follow. Be an ‘agent for acceptance and inclusion.’
1. Scroll down and take the pledge.
2. Start a pledge drive at your school. We worked with the local police department who trained upper classmen at area schools to use our script, then go class to class to info the student body on the importance of the bystander and how to safely come to the aid of someone being bullied. Email PreventBullyingNow@heyugly.org for a PDF of the script, our tri-fold brochure and pledge sheet for students who do not have access to a computer to take the pledge on line. We also have a fill in the blanks mayoral proclamation form, and press release you can use.)
3. Put a link to BullyingBystandersUnite.org on your website.
T H E P L E D G E
I PLEDGE to help any student who is being bullied by following the Bullying Bystanders Unite safety rules as shown below. I further pledge to help my friends understand IF SNITCHING COULD SAVE A LIFE THEN WE SHOULD SNITCH because reporting a bullying situation is taking a stand against bullying, suicide and school shootings. If it were me, or a friend of mine, I’d want bystanders to report what they saw because authorities’ hands are tied without eyewitnesses or video.
I also pledge to not bully others, including myself and instead spread kindness, inclusion and compassion.
Bullying Bystanders Unite
SAFETY RULES GUIDELINES
News Tip: If you see bullying you can report it anonymously by calling the ‘tip line’ at your local police department
PHYSICAL BULLYING SAFETY RULES
Rule #1: If you see ONE bully physically hurting someone and you are by yourself, go to a safe place and call 911. Then find an adult as quickly as you can and them to help. Stay hidden while you are doing all of this so the bully doesn’t see you.
Rule #2: If you see ONE bully physically hurting someone and you are with at least four friends, have one immediately call 911. Have another friend quickly find an adult while the remaining two go to a safe place where they can film the attack. If you feel safe enough approach the bully yelling at him/her to stop and letting them know you called the police. Give your video footage to a trusted adult. DO NOT POST IT ON THE INTERNET.
If you see someone being physically bullied at school, you should tell your teacher, counselor, or another adult.
VERBAL/EMOTIONAL BULLYING SAFETY RULES
Rule #1: If you are alone, walk over to the person being bullied and tell them you need their help to do something, like completing a school project or needing to meet with a teacher or coach. Then take them away from the bully as calmly and quickly as you can. Take them to a trusted adult and report what you saw.
Rule #2: If you are in a group, form a circle around the person being bullied and tell them you want to hang out with them. Then get them away from the bully. Take them to a trusted adult and report what you saw.
“Be careful not to enter into the struggle unless you can be assisted by others,” advises Police Chief, Mark Swistek. “Be the best witness you can be by observing or recording the occurrence and other necessary information. This rule also applies to adults. If you’re unsure of your abilities or cannot be assisted by others, we encourage witnesses to immediately call 911 and stand by to provide us with the information related to the incident.
You can also report anonymously.”
SCHOOL DANGER ALERT
If you hear someone talking about doing harm to anyone at your school or bringing a weapon to school immediately report it to your principal or school counselor. If you want to be anonymous let them know and also tell your parents.
You could be saving lives!
UNDERSTANDING THE BULLY
Youth who bully usually do it because they are being bullied by someone else and they feel powerless.
Bullying someone they consider weaker gives them the sense of having power. One way to stop the bullying is to ask them, “Who is treating you so mean that you have to be mean to me?”
DON’T EGG ON THE BULLY
Sometimes bystanders egg the bully on which is mean and hurtful AND makes the bystander
just as responsible as the person bullying. Egging on the bully makes him/her feel cool
and makes the victim feel worthless.
CHECK OUT THESE LINKS FOR VIDEOS & STORIES
VIDEO created by New Hampshire youth that shows how bystanders impact a bullying situation.
READ letter by a young man who saw American Idol Contestant, Devyn Rush, being bullied
when she was in middle school and how he wished he had done something. You’ll LOVE it!