Nov 12, 2015

In my first book I talk about a most interesting encounter I had with one of the worst bullies from my past.

This revealing encounter clearly indicated to me the significant role a bystander can have in encouraging bullying. In this encounter my worst bully had mentioned to me that he used to do all those terrible things to me because “people laughed”. In fact, even if the bystander does not laugh or visibly encourage the actions, just by being there and witnessing it and not saying anything causes the bully to continue his/her irresponsible behavior. Of course it would be best if a bystander can step in and try to prevent the negative behavior – but as a minimum a bystander must not laugh or encourage the actions and should simply go away from the area and report it to the school authorities.

In my case, my long term mental health disorder was certainly triggered by bullying – it is very likely that the impact would not have been this serious if the bystanders had not encouraged the actions of the bully. As I continue my speaking around the country, I talk about the devastating impact bullying has had on my life so others would understand that the role of a bystander is key in minimizing bullying during school years. Bullies typically do not thrive as well if there is no one around to watch their actions and/or to encourage their negative behavior by supporting their actions one way or another.


© 2017 - Sumi Mukherjee
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