Working with Bystanders


Recognizing the crucial role of bystanders in bullying is essential. Those who witness bullying and harassment have the most power to stop it. On the other hand, students who witness bullying and do nothing to stop it become desensitized to the harm that it causes and the cycle of bullying and harassment continues.

It is therefore essential to create a climate in school where reporting bullying is encouraged. It is also important to always respond to reports of bullying or harassment and follow through.

When an incident occurs or is reported, talk to those involved separately. Acknowledge that reporting bullying takes courage and that it is the right thing to do.

Get the facts, including the names of those involved, the sequence of events, the behaviours, the frequency and the circumstances. Document the incident.

Teach students to use the CARE strategy if they see someone being bullied.

Care about others.

Ask an adult for help.

Reach out.

End it.

Reaffirm that it is everyone’s responsibility to help make the school a safe and caring place for everyone and that school staff are committed to taking appropriate action to stop bullying behaviour.

Click here to download a CARE strategy handout for your classroom…