What You Can Do

So what can Christian students do when they seeing bullying happening? By simply speaking out against it, your impact is far greater than you realize. In fact, there’s evidence showing that when students intervene in a bullying episode, the bullying can stop within 10 seconds. There’s also plenty of research showing that most students who watch a bullying episode—known as “bystanders”—actually feel uncomfortable with what they are seeing and know deep down inside that it is wrong. They simply lack the courage to protest it.

So by simply speaking up, you empower others and build a culture in your school that doesn’t tolerate bullying. When you encounter a bullying episode in your school, you can:

Keep a cool head and don’t escalate the situation by using more insults and acting aggressively toward the bully. Just speak up firmly, and in a matter-of-fact way let the bully know that they need to stop, that what they are doing is not cool, funny or OK.

You can say something short and to the point like, “Hey—cut it out. That’s not funny.” And then invite the victim to walk away with you. Bullies love an audience, so helping to eliminate the audience and the drama they’ve created is a powerful step.

You can use questions about another topic or use positive humor to distract the bully or take unwelcome attention away from the victim.

If the situation is out of control, do not get into a fight or physically endanger yourself. Find a school official or other authority figure to intervene as quickly as possible. It might help to let the bully know that a school official is on the way.

 Counteract a culture of bullying with positive action: Include those who are left out or being victimized in your own social activities. Do things like invite them to sit at the lunch table with you or attend a student club or youth group meeting with you.

Rachel Scott, the first person killed in the Columbine High School shootings, left behind a legacy among her classmates, who remembered her pattern of standing up for others who were ridiculed or befriending those who were hurting. Her “chain reaction” theory inspired a nationwide bullying prevention program called Rachel’s Challenge.

“Compassion is the greatest form of love humans have to offer,” Rachel wrote in a class essay before her life was taken. “I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same.”

Read Courage in Christ

Comments are closed.