Bullies are everywhere. Normally at school, they torment their peers by making fun of them, hitting them, and/or taking something from them. But bullies are usually not supported by others, unless they are bullies as well. However, popular kids are almost always supported. So what happens when a popular kid is the bully? Would people tell because they are bullying someone, or stay quiet because they are popular? It is a tough choice, but the right one should be obvious to most people.
If I saw a popular kid bullying somebody, I would tell somebody about them.
Bullying is never a good thing, so it does not matter whether the bully is popular or not. However, telling somebody is might not always be very effective in stopping the bully. The school staff does not always help with bullying very much. The bully should be stopped, but telling on them is not necessarily the best option. I would first try to stop them directly, but if I can not, I would tell somebody about them. Doing something would be the choice that I would take, but it has its pros and cons.
Telling could help to stop the bully and to help the victim. If nobody stops them, the victim could be seriously harmed, physically and/or mentally. “He thought he heard some students picking on one of his classmates. When he heard a knife open, he shoved the bully away from his classmate.” (Mallard, 2013). Bullies normally do not know when to stop, so they tend to end up going too far.
Telling might be the only way to protect the person that is being bullied. Whoever is told can stop the bully before it gets too bad.
If I told one of the school staff and I succeeded to stop the bully, there is a slight chance that I would get respected for that. “Stepping in is ‘heroic’ as he is helping to take a stand against bullying and helping others see how hurtful and scary bullying can become.” (Patel, 2018). Stopping bullies is normally admired by others, so telling might also count as as if I had stopped the bully myself. People might see me as a hero for doing that, depending on the severity of the bullying. Also, the bully themselves might respect me for that, and them being ‘popular’ would spread that respect further still. But even if I would not get respect, it is still worth doing something.
Telling might stop the bullies from bullying. “’Schoolyard heroes’ might hold the power to stop bullying, experts say” (Taylor, 2018). Sometimes, the school staff can stop the bullies, and if the staff constantly steps in, the bullies might not want to bully anymore. Even if that is not the case, the staff can stop that time of bullying itself, and that is still important. Stopping the bullies from bullying is something that needs to be done.
Telling might not help. “so many teachers mishandled the situations, and the repercussions were often worse than the incident itself.” (Birkett, 1996). Getting the staff involved can sometimes worsen the situation. The bully can get mad at the victim and treat them even worse than they treated them previously. Or, the staff might choose not to do anything at all. Sometimes they just tell the bully to stop and do not do anything else, which rarely has any kind of effect towards stopping the bully. Other times, they just ignore the situation.
If I tell somebody about the bully in that situation, I could get made fun of. “While I would never encourage telling on somebody for something minor, like chewing gum in class or wearing headphones in the lunch line, I can’t help but take issue with the idea that no matter what somebody does or says to you, you can’t say anything to a faculty member or you’re a “snitch”.” (Wong, 2015). People who tell staff about bullies are often made fun of by their other peers as snitches. The ‘snitches’ (the people who tell on other people) are almost always disrespected. That can make the bully bully me along with the previous victim.
Telling can very commonly tend to make things worse. “If we implement an intervention intended to solve a problem, but the problem gets worse, we must seriously entertain the possibility that our intervention had something to do with it.” (Kalman, 2014). Telling can make the bully angry, and bully even more. It can also make the bully enjoy bullying since now there is a risk. The bully could also start bullying in secret instead.
Sometimes, the reason that the bully is popular is because of fear. If they bully people very often, they would get a lot of attention. And that attention would be seeing them as stronger than the victim, so people might think that the bully is stronger than the victim. However, even if they do not fear the bully, the popularity might still be a negative kind of popularity. They may be popular in the way that everybody knows them and hates or dislikes them. If that is the case, it really does not matter if the bully is popular.
In conclusion, if I saw any kind of person, popular or unpopular, bullying somebody, I would tell somebody with authority. I would try to stop the bully in any way that I can, no matter how popular. Telling might not be very effective, but it might be the only way to stop the bully. Directly intervening might help better, though. So, telling somebody about the bully definitely has its pros and cons.