In a social experiment by Up TV, an anti-bullying organization, two girls acting as bullies harass a younger girl (video below). At the beginning of the video, the bullies ask questions such as, "Do you have any friends at all? Any ones that aren't imaginary or your family?"
Then these words appear on the screen: "At least 1 in 3 kids will be bullied during school. UP TV set out to ask the question: In an increasingly disconnected world, who will stop the bullying?"
The older girls continue to berate the child, as they say she can't sing, is a freak and has no friends. In each clip, they persist with their disparaging remarks, but it doesn't take much for the bullying to end.
In each clip, an adult bystander is nearby who hears the remarks. Initially, they appear to be ignoring the discourse. But it doesn't take much before each one comes to the child's aid.
Some adults directly address the bullies. A middle-aged woman said, "How would you like it if somebody who was a little bit older than you came and told you that you weren't any good? You don't hurt someone's feelings and intentionally do it." A young man asked, "Do you guys have anything nice to say, or you guys just talking s---?"
Another woman tries to explain why the girls' actions were so cruel. "It's that stuff that you're doing that brings people's self-esteem down."
A few adults talk to both the tormentors and the victim. In another clip, in which the bullies taunt the girl for liking to read, a security guard tells the teenagers, "Don't mess with her like that. It's not nice." He sets out to encourage the child and says, "You keep reading."
During other instances, the bystanders ask the girl to join them.
One woman complimented the victim's backpack and told her the bullies were "nasty." A man encouraged the girl to sit next to him at the bus stop, and takes out his harmonica to play for her.
October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. Up TV has several tips for parents, kids, and teenagers to play their part in standing up against bullying.
As the video ends, it answers the question asked at the beginning: "Who will stop the bullying? All of us."