The three main categories of student characteristics are: Assertive, Passive, and Aggressive. Innocent bystander (IB)is the term used for those that are disengaged, uninvolved, disenfranchised. They are anything but innocent. Both the aggressive and passive child are at greatest risk.
As part of an audience for a violent or potentially violent situation, the IB gives a green light to the violence when they chose to do nothing to try and stop it. There is no such thing as an "innocent" bystander.
Both the IB and the passive child allow life to happen to them, rather than steping up and stepping in to hold the reigns of their own destiney. They make great targets/victims. They are where they are due to a combination of circumstance and choice.
Some circumstances such as birth and family dynamics, are beyond our control. Those circumstances can endowe us with certain values and beliefs (negative or positive) through exposure. But, once you reach a cognizant age where you can say, "this/that happens because.....", the reigns have been placed back into your hands. What you do from that point becomes your choice. Once it becomes your choice you have control over your own future.
There are both hidden and "in your face" lessons in life that help to mold an individual. Aggressive individuals aren't born. They are taught. They are carefully taught. Learned aggressive/violent behavior is usually a cyclical "circumstance" over which you may have no choice to begin with. Witnessing or experienceing violence is like shrapnel. The smallest shard can leave deep wounds that might never heal, but will surface eventually to continue the cycle.
What can we do to reverse this insidious desease that has sadly become societies "circumstance"? We, all adults, can begin the rewiring process through education. If bullying can be taught, it can be untaught. Don't be the one that stands by the side ringing your hands saying "If I had known. If I had done something, anything, to stop it, this wouldn't have hapened".
Bully Be Gone! is a K-12 bullying and teen suicide prevention program that helps identify bullying and target behavior without pointing a finger to help either define or redifine the individual. By the end of the program , students will have been taught the skill of empathy and compassion. they will have had the opportunity to ask questions, practice assertive behavior, see what it "looks like", and make informed decision. But most importantly, our children will know that they are valued, not alone,and that abuse at any level, is NOT okay. Do your part. Go to www.indiegogo.com and type in Bully Be Gone A in the search tool. Do it today and become part of the solution.