Become an Upstander and #Stopbullying
All young people deserve to grow up safely and thrive. Be an upstander and help #StopBullying in your community!
Bullying is a type of violence experienced by youth and it can happen in person and through technology, known as cyberbullying. Bullying negatively impacts all youth involved, including those who are bullied, those who bully others, and those who witness the bullying (bystanders).
We all have a role to play in preventing bullying. Community members, youth, and adults who care for youth have important roles in preventing violence, and their actions can help develop safe, supportive communities where young people can reach their full potential.
A bystander (someone who witnesses bullying, either in person or online) can make a positive difference in a bullying situation by becoming an upstander. An upstander is someone who sees what happens and intervenes, interrupts, or speaks up to stop the bullying.
When an upstander acts during a bullying situation, the person being bullied feels their peers are supporting and defending them, and it may help reduce bullying-related anxiety and depression.
Not all children who are bullied show warning signs, but StopBullying.gov suggests being aware of these common signs:
- Unexplained injuries
- Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
- Frequent headaches or stomachaches, feeling sick, or faking illness
- Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
- Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
Parents, school staff, and other caring adults can play a role in bullying prevention:
- Help kids understand bullying. Talk about what bullying is and how to stand up to it safely. Tell kids bullying is unacceptable. Make sure kids know how to get help.
- Keep the lines of communication open. Check in with kids often. Listen to them. Know their friends, ask about school, and understand their concerns.
- Encourage kids to do what they love. Special activities, interests, and hobbies can boost confidence, help kids make friends, and protect them from bullying.
- Model how to treat others. Serve as role models by treating everyone with kindness and respect.
We all have a role to play in preventing youth violence and bullying. CDC’s Preventing Youth Violence Technical Package [4.09 MB, 64 Pages] recommends these strategies:
Promote family environments that support healthy development
- Everyone can support programs that help families create and maintain safe, nurturing relationships and environments.
- Examples include early childhood home visitation programs, like the Nurse Family Partnership® (NFP) program, and parenting skill and family relationship programs like The Incredible Years®.
Provide quality education early in life
- Everyone can support preschool enrichment with family engagement programs that provide high-quality early education and support to economically disadvantaged families to build a strong foundation for future learning and healthy development.
- Examples include Child Parent Centers (CPCs) and Early Head Start (EHS).
Strengthen youth’s skills
- Schools can participate in universal school-based violence prevention programs that often include teacher guidance on how to build youth skills, monitor and manage behavior, and build a positive school environment.
- Examples include Good Behavior Game (GBG), Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies® (PATHS), Life Skills® Training (LST), and Steps to Respect (STR).
Connect youth to caring adults and activities
- Schools and other youth organizations can offer afterschool programs that provide opportunities for youth to strengthen their social and academic skills and become involved in school and community activities.
- CDC’s Youth Violence Prevention Resources
CDC’s webpage contains youth violence prevention resources, including resources for bullying prevention.
StopBullying.gov provides information on bullying, cyberbullying, who is at risk, and how you can prevent and respond to bullying.
- Espanol.StopBullying.gov – Spanish website
- Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH)
CDC’s DASH works to promote environments where youth can gain health knowledge and skills, establish healthy behaviors, and connect to health services.
- CDC’s VetoViolence Facebook Page