Bystander- A Portrait in Apathy
In our continued effort to stem instances of harassment, intimidation and bullying, East Hanover Township Schools hosted its 2nd Annual Community Night of Respect. Attendees were treated to a performance staged by select students of East Hanover Middle School. Members of our Peer Leaders group enacted Bystander: A Portrait in Apathy, a stage play which examines the role of the "bystander" in a HIB situation. The students met for 6 hours over a 3 day period with Ms. Palmieri, the developer and director of the program. The students first rehearsed the play to perform for each of the three grade levels at EHMS. The Peer Leaders and audience members held debriefing sessions which were facilitated by the administration and school counselor. These sessions allowed our students to discuss methods by which they may take control of bullying situations; the sessions also allowed our students to acknowledge the role bystanders play in perpetuating bullying through their failure to act. Next the students performed for the entire community. Audience members sat riveted as the students assumed the roles of victims of HIB. Many were moved to tears as the cast members wondered aloud in extended monologues why so few people intervene during obvious episodes of of bullying. The parents were extremely moved, and and in turn had a great opportunity to connect with and talk to their children about this very important topic.
Ms. Stacie Costello