NIOT Princeton

Reactions to Bystander’s Dilemma: II

Reactions to Bystander’s Dilemma: II

I thought the Bystander’s Dilemma event was fantastic.  Congressman Holt highlighted the importance of the effort by noting federal legislative responses to the bullying epidemic.  In their skits, both the young people and the more seasoned players showed the insidious effects of bullying and the difficulty in confronting and eliminating it.  The program  brought together many different parts of our community, joined by a common purpose, namely teaching tolerance for all, except for the intolerant. 

Changing behavior is very difficult, and it must begin with teaching the very young.  It also requires that leaders go well beyond lip service and demonstrate their commitment to human rights and the dignity of every person.  We have to teach people how, in an effective way, to stand up to bullies, champion targets, and encourage bystanders to stand up.  

The program may or may not catalyze our community’s long term actions.  It was certainly a good and a fresh beginning.  I am proud of the sponsoring organizations and the Princeton Public Library for putting such a wonderful program together.

 Hanan Isaacs –– attorney and mediator 


How To Be an "Upstander" not a "Bystander"

To continue the conversation about Bystanders (those who don’t act when they see bullying) and Upstanders (those who do act), here are some questions for thought: 

What inspires you to act as an upstander? 

When have you stood up for someone who was the target of bullying, mistreatment or injustice? or 

I am willing to be an upstander by_____________________. (finish the sentence).
Anwers? Thoughts?

Reactions to The Bystander’s Dilemma

It was standing room only on Tuesday night, April 10, for the Bystander’s Dilemma program at the Princeton public library.

 Grete Cuyler, editor of the Princeton Patch, did a wonderful job on writing about — and photographing — the program. The link is here  and it includes her pictures, including the one at left. Her title: Skits Highlight Role of the Bystander in Bullying. 

Here is another “take” on the program, this one from  
Libby Zinman Schwartz, Ed.D., psychotherapist and educational consultant. As below. 

 The Bystander’s Dilemma program, offered at the Princeton Public Library, on April 10, was an outstanding example of what a community of people–in this case community members and school staff and students–can do when they want to rid their homes, schools and streets from the blight of prejudice, bigotry and intolerance.
    This was a rigorously designed program, complete with skits, interactive audience sharing and open discussion about the dangers of bullying which is shaped by prejudice, bigotry and intolerance: the walls behind which bullies conceal themselves.
    The students were the stars as they performed their roles of the bully and the targeted victim, and the by-stander, upon whom so much responsibility rests to respond in a constructive way when he or she sees someone being bullied.
    The skits were exciting and provocative and elicited responses from young and old in the audience. A list of common words to describe these three roles played by students was placed on the “stage” so everyone had an opportunity to express the emotions that were felt when the targeted victim was being tormented by the bully.
    It seemed that hearts and minds were profoundly engaged in this format organized to allow the audience to empathize which all three: the bully, the victim and the by-stander. Indeed, the focus was heavily directed on the latter, the by-stander, whom everyone realized must take some kind of stand in order to eventually stamp out the cruelty of bullying.
    Many alternative ways were described as possible reactions the by-stander could use “in the moment” of a situation that justified intervention to literally “save” the victim often from a lifetime of painful memories and even trauma.
    Congratulations to all the groups and individuals that worked hard to produce such an intelligent and emotionally uplifting program. Feelings and thoughts were expressed and the seeds of compassion and good will that were sowed throughout the evening will have a lasting effect.
Libby Zinman Schwartz, Ed.D.
psychotherapist and educational consultant

April 10: Answers to the Bystander’s Dilemma

The Second in Not In Our Town’s Series:
Bullying – Changing the Culture
7-9 PM  APRIL 10th
Princeton Public Library
Collaborative experiential event co-sponsored by
Corner House’s Project GAIA, Princeton Not In Our Town, HiTOPS,
the Princeton Public Library and Kidsbridge Tolerance Museum.
Through interactive drama and discussion, adults and young people will explore the internal conflicts experienced by bystanders who witness bullying or other mistreatment. We hope that participants gain insight and skills which will empower them to act productively when confronted with bullying.  Throughout the evening, the audience will be invited to contribute reactions, comments and questions.
Welcome and Introduction

Opening remarks by Representative Rush Holt

Outline of Evening: Mary Saudargas, Facilitator Project GAIA

Theatrical illustration

Definition of Bullying and roles involved (target, bully, bystander)

Exploration using interactive theatre

Project GAIA:  directed by Mary Saudargas
             Scene One : Physical Education class
             Scene Two: Government Policy class

NIOT:  directed by Todd Reichart
             with assistance from Giz Coughlin and Dennis McGeady
             Scene One:   Workplace
              Scene Two:  School Soccer Bleachers
Discussion led by Elizabeth Casparian, Executive Director of HiTOPS

Local Organizations:
Not in our Town  —
Kidsbridge  –
Corner House –
Princeton Regional Schools–
Princeton Public Library 
Google “What Would You Do?”
Books (starred, available at Princeton Public Library)

Little Girls Can Be Mean: Four Steps to Bully-Proof Girls in the Early Grades, by Michelle Anthony and Reyna Lindert *

• The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander, by Barbara Coloroso *

Books from the website:

Queen Bees and Wannabes, by Rosalind Wiseman *

Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls, by Rachel Simmons *

Your Child: Bully or Victim? Understanding and Ending School Yard    Tyranny, by Peter Sheras

A Parents Guide to Understanding and Responding to Bullying: The Bully Busters Approach, by A Horne, J. Stoddard, C. Bell

Bullies are a Pain in the Brain, by Trevor Romain*

• Say Something, by Peggy Moss (for elementary school-age children)*

• Books by Trudy Ludwig (for elementary school-age children)*

Many books available through Princeton Public Library, keyword: “bullying” 

Books on Bullying: The Bystanders Dilemma

These books about “The Bystander’s Dilemma” are listed on the Princeton Regional Schools anti-bullying website and are available at the Princeton Public Library,

Queen Bees and Wannabes Helping your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence By Wiseman, Rosalind (Book – 2002) Non-F 649.125 Wis

Odd Girl Out The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls By Simmons, Rachel (Book – 2002) Non-F 302.54 Sim

Bullies Are A Pain in the Brain By Romain, Trevor (Book – 1997) Ju 302.34 Rom

These books are listed on the website

• Your Child: Bully or Victim? Understanding and Ending School Yard
Tyranny by Peter Sheras

• A Parents Guide to Understanding and Responding to Bullying: The
Bully Busters Approach by A Horne, J. Stoddard, C. Bell

• Say Something by Peggy Moss (for elementary school-age children)

• books by Trudy Lustig (for elementary school-age children)

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