Suitability: Key Stage Two, Key Stage Three
‘Standing By’ explores the collusive role of the watcher in bullying activity and encourages children to understand that ‘just watching’ implicates the bystander in the violence and intensifies its impact on the target. ‘Standing By’ aims not only to increase understanding, but to affect children’s life choices and change behaviour.
‘ … he knows what he’s doing…… sometimes he acts like he doesn’t know, but he does.’
Bullying happens. Most children, when made aware of the effects of bullying behaviour on their targets feel ashamed and will stop. Some children know exactly what they are doing and how it affects other people but get something they want or need by doing it.
‘Standing By’ seeks to challenge all levels of bullying behaviour, exploring its destructive impact on the target, and on witnesses, as well as on the bullying group, its leaders and on the wider community. ‘Standing By’ will increase understanding that bullying takes many forms, not all of which involve physical aggression, and that deliberately causing the suffering of others in any way is never acceptable. The project will stress that no one is a victim and no one is a bully, rather that these are roles which we may be forced into or willingly adopt, and which we can choose to reject. Coping strategies for targets of bullying activity, and for unwilling colluders, will be suggested in the story and in follow up materials.