TIP 3: HELP THEM GET AWAY FROM THE SITUATION. AN ADVOCATE'S PERSPECTIVE
DR. ELIZA BYARD: There are a lot of different little ways that you can move into a situation and help someone get out. Obviously any student's going to be thinking about their safety in a lot if different ways. If the situation is physical, if the situation looks like it might be escalating. So, let's say one of the simplest situations. You notice that someone's being picked on. Someone's got someone backed against the wall. Someone's clearly hearing things they don't want to hear from someone who's following them or persisting with them. It could be as simple as just going up to them and saying, "Hey, where's your next class? Let's walk down the hall together."
JULIE HERTZOG: When you think about a group of third graders playing out on the playground and, you know, someone might be getting pushed around a little bit. The safe thing is just, in a really non-threatening way, is just to say, "Hey come over here on the monkey bars. We're having a contest over here." And do it in a way that you're not calling out the behavior of the other person, but you're focusing on the persons on the receiving end of the bullying and getting them away from it. And I think if you call out somebody else's behavior, that's when things can start to get difficult because you might get a reaction from the person who's doing the bullying. So focus on the person who's being targeted, and getting them away in a really kind of creative way. And I think kids can be really creative. And a lot of kids are going to come up with their own solutions to that. But making sure that they're not putting themselves in any danger too is really important.
DR. ELIZA BYARD: A bully is somebody who needs to feel powerful and in control. So if there are simple ways that you diffuse the situation that, in that moment, aren't about anyone losing face. It's just about, "Hey, it's time to go to class. You want to walk with me to your next class?" It can be the safest way to de-escalate a situation and keep things moving along.