Often, people want to help out a target of bullying but don’t know what to do. This activity shows participants that they have choices, offers examples, and gives them an opportunity to create positive responses of their own. 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)
Support material needed for training
Resource originally created in
Goals for students
- Make the right decisions when choosing how and what to communicate.
- Identify situations in which waiting until you are face-to-face with someone is a better way to communicate than sending a text or message that may be taken the wrong way.
When you see someone being mean to another person online – making them feel embarrassed or left out, making fun of them, disrespecting them, hurting their feelings, etc. – you always have choices. First, you can choose to be an upstander instead of a bystander by helping the target. Second, if you choose to be an upstander, you have options for what kind of action you take.
The most important thing to know is that it can really help someone being targeted just to be heard if they’re sad – and to know that someone cares.
Now, not everybody feels comfortable standing up for others publicly,
whether online or in the school lunchroom. If you do, go for it! You can…
• Call out the mean behavior (not the person), saying it’s not cool.
• Say something nice about the target in a post or comment.
• Get friends to compliment the target online, too.
• Offline, you can invite the person to hang out with you on the
playground or sit with you at lunch.
If you don’t feel comfortable helping out publicly, that’s fine. You can also
support the target privately . You can…
• Ask how they’re doing in a text or direct message.
• Say something kind or complimentary in an anonymous post, comment,
or direct message (if you’re using media that lets you stay anonymous).
• Tell them you’re there for them if they want to talk after school.
• In a quiet conversation in person or on the phone, tell them you thought
the mean behavior was wrong and ask if they feel like talking about what happened.
No matter how you choose to be an upstander, you have both public and private options for reporting. This could mean reporting bullying
behavior via a website or application interface, or reporting what’s going on to an adult you trust.
In this activity, we’re going to try out what it’s like to be an upstander, so let’s assume our whole class has made the choice to help out the target.
1. Divide into groups of five students per group Each group should designate a reader and a writer.
2. Groups read and discuss the hurtful situations together The three situations are provided in the worksheet.
While groups are discussing, the teacher divides the whiteboard or easel into two large spaces with the headlines “Public Support” and “Private Support.”
3. Groups choose or create their two kinds of responses for each.
Students can work with the sample responses in “Let’s talk” or create their own.
4. Students post their choices to the board and read out loud to the whole class
The teacher can then facilitate a class discussion based on the choices the students made.
Lots of times when you see somebody being hurt or harassed, you want to help but you don’t always know what to do. You now know many ways to help the target – and that you have options for supporting them in ways that you’re comfortable with. You have the power to help people in a way that works for you!