Last week I wrote of my personal experience of being bullied for years at school.

The feedback I received through the comment section and social media, whilst supportive, indicated that bullying is so widespread. And not just in school, but in all areas of the community.

The question is why? Why is bullying so prevalent?

I don’t know. But it may have something to do with how we tackle bullying in our organisations.

A lot – not all – anti-bullying strategies or restorative justice practices tend to concentrate their efforts on the bully and – for want of a better term – victim.

And whilst it may seem obvious that this should be the case, it leaves out a significant party.

The Australian Covert Bullying Prevalence Study out of Edith Cowan University, found that peers are present as onlookers in 87% of bullying interactions.

The stereotype that victims are caught on their own somewhere in a dark corner of the school grounds is not borne out by the statistics.

How can we reach these onlookers? How do we impress upon those present the fact that by doing nothing, they are condoning if not encouraging a culture where bullying is accepted.

The video that I included in last week’s newsletter seeks to tackle that very issue.

Their mantra is:

You can make a difference.

Don’t be a bystander.

Stand by, Stand Up, Stand Together.

It’s up to you.

A good message for adults as well as kids I think.

Author: Dan Haesler is a teacher, consultant and speaker at the Mental Health & Wellbeing of Young People seminars. His website is: and he tweets at @danhaesler