With the steadily growing rate of bullycide (the suicide or killing of a child due to bullying) in this country and around the globe, students need to realize how powerful their words may be in someone's life. Rather than waiting for tragedy to strike before acting, school's should pro actively address this growing statistic with their students. It isn't until students realize the impact of their words an actions that they can make the necessary changes in their behavior. At the middle school level, egocentric students say and do so much without regard to the lasting effects or consequences. It is imperative that these students begin recognize the weight of their words. The value in this message is tremendous. Bystander: A Portrait in Apathy opens the eyes of students whose focus is solely on themselves and their happiness. It allows students to understand the power they have in ruining someone's life and the power they have in making someone's life better. This assembly program teaches students to care about those around them.
Bystander: A Portrait in Apathy gives middle school students the unique opportunity to ownership over their own school and the issues that plague it. By viewing or participating in the program, students will be empowered to stop deflecting the blame and to take some on themselves, enabling them to make some much needed changes to both their behavior and the behavior of those around them. As a multimedia exploration into the emotions and actions that fuel the bullies, the victims and the bystanders, students and staff will have the opportunity to view all sides of the issue first hand. By allowing students to participate and view Bystander: A Portrait in Apathy, students will have the opportunity to initiate change themselves, to take ownership over their school's climate and to eliminate the very things that scare them the most.
The time is now to require bystanders to stop being silent and to start taking a stand!