Become an Upstander and #Stopbullying

Young guy comforting his sad friend

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.

Know the signs of bullying:

Not all children who are bullied show warning signs, but 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
Know your role in bullying prevention:

Parents, school staff, and other caring adults can play a role in bullying prevention:

We all have a role to play in preventing youth violence and bullying. CDC’s Youth Violence Prevention Resource for Action [4 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.