More than half of students end up as bystanders when their classmates are bullied, according to a nationwide survey of 9,174 elementary to high school students carried out in January. Some 56 percent of the respondents said that they couldn't do anything when they witnessed violence at school.
The main reasons cited were fear and feelings of helplessness. Some 34 percent stated that they were afraid they would end up being victimized as well, while 16 percent said they felt their intervention would do nothing to stop the violence.
Standing idly by while violence occurs, however, leaves them saddled with feelings of self-loathing and guilt. Of those who took no action, 31 percent said they felt frustration over why they had not been able to step forward to help the victim.
Some 27 percent said they felt like cowards after watching such bullying take place, while 20 percent said they were angry, and 22 percent stated that they were suffering from stress and depression afterwards.