When you watch the following news report, you will find a case of a massive fight breaking out at a country fair in Wisconsin (only about 1 hour from our offices). The Sheriff is looking at charging both the teen girls involved in the fight AND the bystanders who watched (and even cheered the fight on). One of the saddest elements was how many people were videotaping the fight while doing NOTHING to help stop the fight. In the original footage (which has been removed from YouTube), you also see lots of adults in the crowd doing nothing.
Do you think the observers who did nothing should be charged? At The DATE SAFE Project, we give students specific how-to skills for intervening in potentially dangerous situations. Students have shared that the odds are slim of someone stepping in without the skill set to feel confident.
With that knowledge, schools and families need to talk more often about “What to do” in specific situations that can occur. Most people want to take the right action. The fear is that they fear the consequences of stepping in. Give people realistic skills and you help overcome those fears.