Participants practice identifying the four roles of a bullying encounter (the person who bullies, the target of the bullying, the bystander, and the upstander) and what to do if theyʼre a bystander or a target of bullying. This resource forms part of the “Cyber Heros” learning programme designed for 8 to 14 year olds.
Preparation time for facilitator
Time needed to complete activity (for learner)
Resource originally created in
Goals for students
- Identify situations of harassment or bullying online.
- Evaluate what it means to be a bystander or upstander online.
- Learn specific ways to respond to bullying when you see it.
- Know how to behave if you experience harassment.
Why does kindness matter? Itʼs important to remind ourselves that behind every username and avatar thereʼs a real person with real feelings, and we should treat them as we would want to be treated. When bullying or other mean behavior happens, most of the time there are four types of people involved.
• Thereʼs the aggressor, or person(s) doing the bullying.
• Thereʼs also someone being bullied – the target.
• There are witnesses to what’s going on, usually called bystanders.
• There are witnesses to what’s going on who try to positively intervene, often called upstanders.
If you find yourself the target of bullying or other bad behavior online, here are some things you can do: If Iʼm the target, I can…
• Not respond.
• Block the person.
• Report them – tell my parent, teacher, sibling, or someone else I trust, and use the reporting tools in the app or service to report the harassing post, comment, or photo.
If you find yourself a bystander when harassment or bullying happens, you have the power to intervene and report cruel behavior. Sometimes bystanders don’t try to stop the bullying or help the target, but when they do, they’re being an upstander. You can choose to be an upstander by deciding not to support mean behavior and standing up for kindness and positivity. A little positivity can go a long way online. It can keep negativity from spreading and turning into cruelty and harm.
If Iʼm the bystander, I can be an upstander by…
• Finding a way to be kind to or support the person being targeted.
• Calling out the mean behavior in a comment or reply (remember to call out the behavior, not the person), if you feel comfortable with that and think it’s safe to do so.
• Deciding not to help the aggressor by spreading the bullying or making it worse by sharing the mean post or comment online.
• Getting a bunch of friends to create a “pile-on of kindness” – post lots of kind comments about the person being. targeted (but nothing
mean about the aggressor, because you’re setting an example, not retaliating).
• Reporting the harassment. Tell someone who can help, like a parent, teacher, or school counselor.
1. Read scenarios and categorize responses
After discussing the roles, pass out the worksheet and give students 15 minutes to read the three scenarios and categorize each response. If there’s time, have them create that fourth scenario together as a class.
2. Discuss the answers
Before or at the end of the discussion, ask them if they can tell you why it can be nice to have upstanders around at school and online.
3. Discuss those that were hard to categorize
If there’s time, ask your students if any of the responses were hard to categorize and why. Have a discussion about that.
Answers to worksheet
Scenario 1 : B, U, B (because not helping the situation), U, U
Scenario 2 : U, B, U, U
Scenario 3 : U, U, B, B, U
Scenario 4 : The answers are all yours!
Whether standing up for others, reporting something hurtful, or ignoring something to keep it from being amplified even more, you have a variety of strategies to choose from depending on the situation. With a little kindness, anyone can make a huge difference in turning bad situations around.