Not A Typical Teenager: Anti-Bullying Week 2014 - Bystanding

Monday, 17 November 2014

Anti-Bullying Week 2014 - Bystanding

So every year an anti-bullying week takes place in November time ish, and every year in school we have an assembly on it. Today was the assembly for Anti-Bullying Week 2014 in my school. Now before I start, I just want to say that I do not think bullying is right by any stretch of the imagination but here is what I have an issue with.

The assembly started in the same way as always, "you should not bully" and the teacher talked about all of the different forms of bullying eg verbal, physical, cyber etc. and told us what to do if we saw someone being bullied. That is not where the issue lies. Here it is:

He then said that if you stand back and watch someone being bullied then you're a bully yourself and you are just as evil. Now I agree with this statement to an extent as if there is someone being called horrible things and is clearly being bullied then someone should intervene, but it's not always that clear.

StopBullying.gov defines bullying as:
An unhappy teen boy walks away from bullying girls. "unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems."
To me, this says that bullying is always aggressive. But I think bullying is a little bit more complicated than that.
Bullying is difficult to define because different people react to things in different ways and see things in different lights. Someone sensitive might see a mild comment as bullying, whereas someone who is less sensitive might see it as playful conversation
All in all, I think its wrong to say that the bystander is as responsible, because people have different tolerance levels. What do you think? Let me know on twitter @_Not_typical_

Stay Un-typical
Ashleigh xxx