Advocacy For Others

Witnessing Bullying?

“It’s none of my business—I should just ignore it and walk away—right?”


Put yourself in the target’s place. If you were being pushed around, laughed at, gossiped about, made fun of, ignored on purpose, you’d probably want someone to help you out.

And it doesn’t even take that much to make a difference. The very least you could do is to NOT join in. Your non-support of someone bullying sends a clear message that you don’t agree with what’s happening. If you see someone being laughed at, instead of turning your back, help the target to turn his or her back to the bullying by walking to class with him or her, telling them that they don’t deserve what’s happening to them. Show your support. Kids who are bullied often feel like no one cares—help them feel like they’re not alone.

What else can you do?

If you read cyberbullying, write something nice on the target’s wall or let the person bullying know it’s not cool to make fun of people online, or you can even report in anonymously and many service providers will remove the post.

But if it’s a fight you witness, don’t try to step in the middle. Instead, tell an adult or other authority figure what’s going on so that they can intervene.

You can always let your teachers and parents know so they can help out—bullying is not just about physical fights, words have the power to injure too, both online in and person. Teachers are there to help you out, not just give you homework, and parents care about what happens to you.

What Should You Do? Peer Advocacy | PACERTalks About Bullying Episode 24

Insights and advice from students as they think through how to respond to real life bullying situations. In this video middle school students from a “peer advocacy” group explore how to handle a scenario in which a student with down syndrome is being bullied.

What Should You Do? Ways to Be There | PACERTalks About Bullying, Episode 19

Insights and advice from students as they think through how to respond to real life bullying situations.

What can make an even bigger difference?

Get your friends to help out, too! This is an issue that affects a lot of people and most of them want it to stop too, so get together and start a bullying prevention program at school.

“No one in this world ever deserves to be bullied and brought down by people. And no one deserves to hold in all those situations that have happened to them. If you are being bullied open up and talk about it. I know it is hard to do but you are not alone. Others get bullied and know how you feel. People love you and will listen to you and be there for you. Stand up against bullying today.”

Jessica – 17 – Michigan

“No one deserves to be bullied. It is just not right and fair. You are not alone. I had a friend who was bullied and I came to help and stopped it. When you see someone being bullied please tell an adult or try to stop it yourself.”

Bob – 19 – North Carolina

“When I went into middle school there was a boy who everyone just “decided” to pick on. He would always sit alone at lunch and never once had a friend to call his own. But I never said a word. I was too scared to lose my friends… I was too selfish to help someone in need. A few years later I remembered how many times this boy had tried to talk to me… it made me cry thinking of how alone he must of felt. Never again will I EVER let anyone decide who is ” worthy” enough to be happy and have friends. And I want others to learn from my mistake. When you see someone down on the ground, have the courage to be the hand that picks them up.”

Angela – 16 – Des Moines IA


“If you’ve been a bully you don’t have to admit it you just have to realize how you made them feel and change your ways because we are the future generation, we are the ones that is going to make a change in the world. Otherwise be the change in the world you wish to see or take a walk in someone else’s shoes realize how much of a tough time they are going through. Someday we will make a change in the world together. Take a stand lend a hand.”


“Growing up, in elementary I was never bullied, because at that time, no one understands how “different you are”. The young minds in their purest form. Where they will play with a boy who wears pink and a girl who climbs trees. It is not until puberty hits, and our elders put thoughts of wrong and right into our head that life changes. For me, it changed a lot. I realized I was gay, and although I was happy with who I was. Others around me were not. I went through junior high thinking why a person like me. A boy without judgment. A boy who defends people “different” and put down, was treated with such disrespect. Are we not taught to treat people the way we wanted treated? I spent all my time trying to help others with stories like me that I did not have someone to help me. In high school I joined acting, choir, and the musicals and plays. I had an outlet and a source for happiness. I found friends who loved me for me. I am in a place where my life is on track and I have future full of a bright light of hope and love. I believe life is a beauty and even though I am in a better place than the state of depression I was in before, I do nott feel satisfactory when I hear stories, and see people get bullied for being someone that is not a specific way. The human race has gone so far in the past 50 years, but until people are accepted for being themselves. I will not quite to be a better person. To speak up. A life without judgment is what I stride to accomplish. The world can be better, but it will take all of us. I stand for Human Rights. I am Sethaniel and I matter, and so do you. When its hard to be you. Never give up.”


No One Deserves to Be Bullied

Think about what it means to feel all alone, to believe that no one cares, to think that there is no way to change what is happening.

  • That’s a lonely place to be.
  • When everyone around you looks the other way, ignores you, and maybe even sides with the person hurting you, it’s hard to believe in yourself.
  • It’s hard to think that life will ever be any different.

Imagine how all that can be different. Imagine during those times when you feel broken, that someone is there for you.

  • They talk to you, they tell you that it will be ok, that you matter.
  • They say that you deserve to be treated with respect and kindness.
  • They tell you that they will be there for you.
  • Imagine how different that feels.
  • It doesn’t take away all the hurt, but hope is a powerful medicine for pain.

Consider how simple it is to tell someone that you care, that they matter, that they are not alone. The support is meaningful. It can take someone from feeling hopeless to feeling valued and respected.


Taking Action

Read what other students are doing in their communities.

Together We Can Be a Sign of Hope

When Jacob Law’s mom, Tina, heard that he wanted to get involved with Unity Day, she thought all she was going to do was buy him a t-shirt. But Jacob had a much bigger plan in mind. Jacob gathered a group of students at his high school in Delaware who were all passionate about bullying prevention and set about creating a community-wide Unity Day event.

Giving Back

Sarah Busch has been connected with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center for almost ten years, but her experience with bullying goes back much farther. Bullied physically and emotionally in grade school, she knows what it’s like to feel alone.