Bystanders are those people who witness an event such as discrimination and bullying. Bystanders have a choice: to stand by and watch; or to stand up and take steps to support the people involved. Supporting students to feel empowered to stand up as bystanders will help create a supportive and inclusive school culture.
Students learn the importance of bystanders taking action in reducing bullying.
By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:
- identify activities that count as discrimination
- understand the role of bystanders
- identify actions that bystanders can take to support a person experiencing discrimination or bullying.
Understanding bystanders 15 min
1. Explain to students that there are many situations where they may witness discrimination or bullying. Bystanders have a choice: to stand by, or to take action.
2. In pairs, ask students to discuss:
- What activities count as discrimination (and/or bullying)? (e.g. unfair treatment or comments about topics including gender, disability, race, sexual orientation, religious belief)
- Where might you see discrimination or bullying? (e.g. in the classroom, school yard, social media)
- Who is present when discrimination occurs? (ans: the perpetrator/s, the person/people being targeted, and bystanders)
- Who is a bystander? (ans: anyone who is a witness)
- How can bystanders help when they witness discrimination? (e.g. explain why the action was wrong, befriend the person being discriminated against)
Debrief: Explain to students that bystanders play a key role in stopping discrimination, and that there are many different ways they can help.
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