No community is safe from the devastating effects of bullying and school violence—but you can learn to prevent these threats.One of the most powerful steps a school community can take to prevent violence is to teach young people and adults to be active bystanders who take positive steps when conflict arises. Voices Against Violence contains five dramatic video stories about bystanders who must decide how to respond in potentially dangerous situations. As the action as it unfolds, you’ll explore how bystanders can make good decisions about the risks and responsibilities of stepping in.
It can help:
Click on a story below to see how bystanders can prevent violence and bullying.
Miss America 2003 Erika Harold introduces the series. Voices Against Violence presents bystander stories to help students, parents, and school staff speak up against school violence. Each episode will conclude with a series of questions for you to consider regarding how to best resolve the presented situation.
Nikki tries to warn her sister Kelly that a boy who's been flirtatious already has a girlfriend and is worried she is mad at Kelly. One day the girlfriend threatens Kelly to stop talking her boyfriend. Nikki tries to convince Kelly to tell their parents or someone in school about the situation, but they feel as though no one would understand. When things escalate in the lunchroom, Nikki and the other adults must decide what to do in order to prevent a fight.
Alex witnesses classmates, including a boy named Monty, bully Jake. When Alex hears a rumor that Jake is planning to "get back at" Monty and his friends, Alex doesn't take it seriously. But then Jake shows him that he has a gun. Alex must decide what to do next, and adults at school need to have a plan of how to react to the situation.
Curtis's friend Anthony becomes confrontational in response to Sean's bullying at school. After finding out that Anthony and Sean are planning to fight after school, Curtis is worried that Anthony will get hurt. Curtis is also worried that he will get in trouble for watching it. After talking with his parents about the situation, Curtis needs to decide whether he can convince Anthony to back out of the fight and, if not, whether he will stil watch the fight.
Anna witnesses Sonya being mean to Maya, a new girl at school. Anna feels bad and wants to help stand up for Maya, but is afraid that by doing so she will become a new target for Sonya. When the situation escalates, Anna finally decides to befriend Maya. But now she must decide what to do next, and whether the support of adults is needed to stop Sonya's bullying.
Derek witnesses Victor and Ray not getting along. Their teacher Mr. Garcia also notices the behavior and asks about it, but Derek wonders if he can do more. After Ray threatens to cut Victor with a pocket knife, Derek wants to confide in Mr. Garcia but is worried he will be labeled as a "rat."
Voices Against Violence was developed with funding by Grant Number R49/CCR218598 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in conjunction with Columbia University Center for Youth Violence Prevention Mailman School of Public Health. Copyright © 2004 Education Development Center.