Upstanders are cool! Bystanders are uncool!

cool_1When Tanner, Rudy, Carmen, Nicole, Stephen and Truman the Dragon came into class they were excited to continue their talk from the last time. Ms. Gilmour greeted each and asked, “Who wants to start telling us about what you found on the Web about being Upstanders versus being bystanders?”

Truman the Dragon answered and said, “I found a site called They say that it’s everyone’s responsibility to put a stop to bullying. They encourage being Upstanders instead of bystanders. They have 10 ways to be an Upstander. ‘1. Learn more about mean, cruel and bullying behavior.’” Ms. Gilmour asked the class, “Why do you think that is important?” Tanner said, “So we know what bullying really looks like.” Nicole added, “So we know when a friend is being bullied and can help them.” Stephen spoke next, “So we can learn ways to prevent the bullying.” “All good reasons,” Ms. Gilmour responded.

Truman continued, “#2. Help others who are being bullied.” Carmen raised her hand and said, “We should do that so someone might do the same for us.” Tanner added, “That’s The Golden Rule in action.” Everyone agreed The Golden Rule would help in bullying situations. Nicole shared, “We might make a new friend if we are the only one who can help the person being bullied. We might be the only one who sees it happen.” Rudy added, “I don’t think I’d feel good about myself if I was the only one who saw bullying and did nothing to stop it.”

Next, Truman shared “#3. Stop untrue or harmful messages from spreading.” Everyone started talking about how cyberbullying is getting bigger and bigger, and how they know more and more kids who are being hurt by it. Ms. Gilmour then asked, “What are some ways to stop this kind of bullying?” “Don’t send an unkind message on to anyone else,” said Nicole. Tanner added, “If you know who started a rumor or gossip, tell them that it isn’t cool, or funny.” Rudy said, “We need The Golden Rule here, too; stop and think how you would feel if there was a rumor spreading about you.” Ms. Gilmour summed up by saying, “Don’t say, post or text anything you wouldn’t want someone to say to or about you.”

Truman continued with “#4. Get friends involved.” Rudy looked at the other kids and said, “I see a challenge here. We’ve talked a lot about getting our friends to be Cool Kind Kid Challengers. I think we can get more kids to be Upstanders if we make it a Cool Kind Kid Challenge. Nicole said, “I like that idea.” Carmen added, “We can ask kids to spread the word that ‘Cool Kind Kid Challengers are tough enough to be Upstanders.’” Stephen continued, “Cool Kind Kid Challengers are too cool to be bystanders’” Truman ended with, “Cool Kind Kid Challengers are tough enough to defend a friend who is being bullied.”

Ms. Gilmour said, “Challenge your friends and we’ll learn more next time.”
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coolNote to Parents From Ms. Gilmour:
Bullying is the #2 epidemic in the U.S. In addition to these Cool Kind Kid articles, we endeavor to provide up-to-date research, articles and other news on this topic on our Facebook page. For your kids, we post Anti-Bullying and Social Skills Tips from Barbara on Mondays, Tanner’s Tuesday Tips on Tuesdays, Cool Kind Kid Challenger Tips on Thursdays and our newest contributor, Oliver’s Tips on Fridays. We also post Shocking Sunday Stats to keep this issue in the forefront of people’s minds. We’d love to post stories and photos of your kids being Cool Kind Kids, and how you have successfully dealt with bullying.

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