Kristin Robinson
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Upper Primary, Middle School
  • CAST
  • Clusive
  • clusive
  • content
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Media Formats:
    eBook, Graphics/Photos, Text/HTML

    Education Standards

    Are kids responsible for stepping in to prevent bullying?

    Are kids responsible for stepping in to prevent bullying?


    Should kids act to stop bullying, or should they leave it up to adults?

    Are kids responsible for stepping in to prevent bullying?

    Kendra started at a new school in the seventh grade. During her first week, a group of girls started teasing her. Then more kids joined in. Now she gets called names every day. People push her in the hallways. They steal her backpack and throw it in the trash. Kendra wants help, but she is embarrassed to tell her parents or her teachers. She feels like everything is her fault.

    Statue of three figures; two people leaning toward a lone figure.
    Making someone feel isolated, uncomfortable, or unwelcome can be a type of bullying.

    Bullying is a big problem in schools today. Both boys and girls can be bullies or victims. Punching, teasing, and spreading rumors all constitute bullying. About half of all kids say they have been bullied at some point during their time in school. Many kids who are bullied have low self-esteem. Some try to avoid school. Some even think about killing themselves.

    It is important for schools to promote equity among all students. No one should be treated like they are less than anyone else. Therefore, many people believe that schools should pass rules to legislate an end to bullying. 

    However, all schools have rules against bullying, and these generally do not resolve the problem. Perhaps peer intervention constitutes the only resolution to bullying. Should kids step up when they see bullying incidents? Some researchers state that the bystanders who look on and do nothing are as guilty as the bullies.

    Many bystanders are afraid to intervene, fearing they themselves will be targeted by the bullies. Furthermore, many kids just don’t know what to do. They say it is easier to walk away. So rather than amending the rules about bullying, maybe schools should teach kids what to do when they see a bullying incident. 

    Is it fair to blame bystanders for not intervening to resolve the bullying incident? Should kids put themselves in danger to protect their classmates?