UP TV recently conducted a social experiment in which they set out to discover how strangers would react if they observed a young girl being bullied. About 1 in 3 kids are bullied during the time they are in school, so testing to see whether bystanders react appropriately is important. And it is also kind of funny to watch…
The goal of their experiment was to answer the question, “in an increasingly disconnected world, who will stop the bullying?” For the experiment, they placed hidden cameras across from a bus stop and had two girls slinging slanderous jibber-jabber at their younger classmate. As the strangers sat at the bus stop, they were able to overhear the bullies say things like, “don’t you have any friends,” or “you really need to wear makeup.”
At first, the strangers observe the conversation quietly, but as the torment continues, they each jumped in and defend the helpless victim. Some responded with, “would you like it if someone did that to you?” or “do you not have anything nice to say?” Others weren’t so vocal, but still did things to defend the young victim. One woman motioned for the girl to come sit next to her. She then told her how much she liked her backpack and commented on how nasty the bullies were. Another man motioned for her to come closer to him, and he proceeded to show her his harmonica and play her a little tune. Like an elf or something.
Each of the helpful bystanders in the video reacted differently to the situation, but they all did something to help the little girl out of a tight spot. It seems like most people respond accordingly when they see someone getting pushed around or teased – lend a hand.