Don’t Be A Bystander, Stand Up And Help

Julia Perry

Two female students were meeting in the k wing bathroom. When I walked in, they were already fighting. I whipped out my phone to catch all the action and realized that one of the girls had stopped hitting back. I could hear her wheezing and out of breath, and she still managed to get a faint “stop” out. The other girl grabbed her by the neck, started punching her in the face, and it wasn’t until then that I ran to get help. Security guards come flying into the bathroom and when they asked me what happened, I said, “I didn’t know.” They asked me, ‘Why didn’t you get help before then? What was going through your head? Why didn’t you intervene?’
I believe that we as people don’t interfere in potentially dangerous situations because we have been taught from a young age that if it’s not our business, we need to stay out of drama and chaos. However, in many situations, help is needed.
It is very important that we do something and play a part in severe situations where there’s no help around even though were not trained, we are humans and could potentially save someone’s life and this is important now more than ever because within our society, times are changing and things are getting more dangerous by the day. There may come a day you may need that help and no one will help you. You’re going to wish someone may have called the police or said something to save your life or the life of someone else, possibly a person that you love.
So why don’t people take action? It is due to something called the bystander effect. Usually individuals don’t intervene in an serious situation where they’re discouraged to get help or intervene.
The most famous case of bystander effect was with young lady named Katherine Genovese. She got off from work at about 1:00 a.m. She saw a man on her way home, and he stabbed her multiple times. The perpetrator got away and she tried to get help. He came again, raped her, and stabbed her for 30 mins until her death. Thirty eight people witnessed the man attack Katherine, but only one person called for help.
This assault is a more serious situation than just a fight or an argument, but these little situations, for example, like arguments or kids fighting, can escalate to a more serious situation.
At Loy Norrix, security officers are hired to maintain order in the halls and to prevent dangerous escalations between students in class and in the halls.
Devin Palmer, Kalamazoo Public Safety Officer, is assigned to Loy Norrix High School and wears his uniform every day to work. When he sees fight, he stops and addresses it.
Officer Palmer’s response is from an adult point of view, and as an uniform officer. Loy Norrix junior Gabrielle Davis had a different perspective from Palmer. Instead of addressing situations, she wants to see who is winning and doesn’t think about her surroundings.
Davis said, “I wonder who it is, who’s winning the fight, and by the time it’s over, I walk away.”
If I were asked the same questions, I would’ve said nothing because most of the time when something is wrong, I just walk away. We’re all fascinated by drama, and that’s what is important to us, no matter if it’s a TV show, a movie, or people. Even if the dramatic situation goes bad, we tend to only care about the action, not the consequence.
In real life, would you like someone to help you or abandon you while you’re in danger? Could you bear the outcome? Be more aware of the situation, take action and speak up.