Students should be ‘Upstanders,’ not Bystanders

Campaign encourages everyone to take part in stopping bullying

An estimated 3.5 million students are victims of bullying each year, according to dosomething.org, a non-profit organization that motivates young people to make a positive change. 

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion hosted its second annual Day1 campaign Nov. 17. 

The campaign was founded in honor of Tyler Clementi, a freshman at Rugters University in New Jersey who took his life after being bullied by his roommate and others. 

“The Day1 campaign is just to spread awareness at schools—whether it’s a college, elementary school, a middle school, any school at all—to raise awareness about bullying,” sophomore and Diversity Advocate Kayla Commons said. “A lot of people don’t believe that bullying exists, but it definitely does.” 

According to nobully.com, a website aimed at educating, advising, counseling and putting an end to bullying, 7 to 9 percent of those who are bullied are more likely to consider suicide. 

Bullying is a serious problem that gets overlooked too often. Teachers and parents sometimes label it as kids just being kids, but they don’t think about the lasting impact of what the kids are doing to each other. 

One of the problems with bullying is bystanders—people who stand and watch as something takes place. They can be just as bad as bullies because they just let it happen instead of trying to intervene and stop it from happening. 

Instead of being a bystander, people should speak up and defend those who are being subjected to the torment of a bully. Be a voice for someone who can’t speak. Stand up for people who can’t stand up for themselves. 

The Day1 campaign looks to spread awareness and teach people to be “upstanders” instead of bystanders. 

“Even if you’re not the one being bullied, and you’re not the one doing the bullying, you can still be an ‘upstander,’” Commons said. “And if you see someone being bullied, you can let someone know. You can get them help. You can talk to them. Just things like that to help them out.”

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About Christina Ramey 3 Articles

Christina Ramey is the opinion editor for The Franklin. She is majoring in multimedia journalism and minoring in public relations. When Christina isn’t busy with school she spends her time going to Supernatural Conventions or getting coffee with friends. Christina also enjoys reading or writing when she has some free time.

This is Christina’ second year in a leadership position and her third year on The Franklin staff. She has previously held the position of opinion editor.

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