Bullying is, unfortunately, something that kids are often up against. What if you saw a child being bullied? Would you step in and help? That was the question that Matt Bendeira, of YouTube’s MattTV, set out to answer, setting up a hidden camera social experiment to find out if bystanders would intervene if they saw someone being bullied.
He explained in the YouTube video’s description: “Last time I filmed a video with a boy being bullied. I decided to conduct the very same social experiment but this time I wanted to see how people would react if they saw a girl being bullied in public. The results were surprising!”
The video starts with two girls approaching another girl who is by herself, as one asks to see her backpack and they begin taunting the girl, throwing her bag back and forth. The girl attempts to catch her backpack as they toss it to each other, saying, “give it back!”
The statistic “70.6 percent of students say they have seen bullying in their schools” appears on the screen, with the text going on to explain that they had filmed a boy being bullied and this time, wanted to see what the reaction would be if a girl was being bullied.
The bullying scenario then plays out in front of a couple seated on a bench. They watch as the bullies grab the girl’s drink and throw it on the ground and then start looking through her backpack. When one bully dumps the contents on the ground, the man is heard telling her: “Are you serious right now?”
The woman asks “where are your girls’ parents,” before standing up to help the victim, asking “do you know them?” and when the girl tells her “no,” the woman asks “why are you guys doing that?” sharing, “that’s not nice. You need to think about your actions and you need to think about how you’re treating her.” She adds, “You need to treat people how you want to be treated.”
She then demands that they pick up her bag and leave her alone.
A second incident unfolds near a woman seated alone on a bench. The girls play out a similar scenario, taking the victim’s backpack and teasing her about her hair and her appearance. The woman watches for a moment and then, without hesitation, approaches the girls.
She asks: “Excuse me. What are you doing? Stop doing this. Are you bullying her? Did your mother teach you that? Learn to treat everyone equally. We are all human beings… Respect her. She’s smart. She’s beautiful.”
In a third scenario, the girls attack the victim’s appearance and take her backpack as a woman sits nearby, reading a book. The woman is quick to get up and ask, “what are you doing?” and tells one of the girls to pick up the stuff she dumped on the ground. She asks, “Would you like it if I threw your stuff on the ground?” before asking the victim if she’s okay.
She then tells the bullies to leave “until you learn some manners,” asking, “What would your mother think of this? Would she like you treating people this way? I bet she wouldn’t.”