Step Up H-SC: Dealing with Bias and Bullying
Interrupting biased or hurtful comments or behavior can be challenging. But doing nothing (being a silent bystander) risks letting others think you approve of the behavior. We encourage you to step up and speak up!
Being prepared for these moments is the best way to be effective.
- Treat people with respect. (Avoid using angry words — that makes it hard for people to hear what you have to say. “Be the change you want to see.”)
- Have a statement you can use as a quick response in many situations and practice saying it. (Such as: I’m surprised to hear you say that. Or I don’t find that funny. Even a one-word response said the right way can work: Really? Seriously? Or Dude.)
- Questions can be a way to follow up on that initial comment. Having to explain a stereotype, put-down, or “joke” can make people think twice in the future. (What do you mean by that?)
- Share how their comment or behavior impacts you (I don’t think you meant to disturb me, but you did, because… Or I don’t think you meant it, but how I felt was…)
- If someone else speaks up, chime in and support them — build the momentum.