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The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  779 ratings  ·  89 reviews
It's the deadliest combination going; bullies who terrorize, bullied kids who are afraid to tell, bystanders who watch, and adults who see the incidents as a normal part of childhood. All it takes to understand that this is a recipe for tragedy is a glance at headlines across the country.

In this updated edition of The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander, which includes
Paperback, 218 pages
Published February 2nd 2004 by ReganBooks (first published January 1st 2002)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  779 ratings  ·  89 reviews

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Jan 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Please note that, because I am new to learning about the topic of bullying, my review of this book is influenced by my lack of familiarity with the topic. First of all, I think there are many helpful things in Barabara Coloroso's book on bullying:

- Coloroso's main premise is that bullying involves more than a bully and a target; instead, bullying involves the entire community: bully and target, but also bystanders, teachers, and parents, and any real solution must involve all of these actors.

Sep 03, 2007 rated it it was ok
Bryan's cynicism not with standing, I think this book is helpful in identifying what teachers and parents should look for in bullying incidents.

Awareness is a nice first step, and advocating an elimination of negative behavior is okay, but I wish there had been more practical approaches to the problem, and a fewer bullet pointed lists.

Helpful but not riveting.
Apr 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the best book I've ever read on this topic.

I don't normally read an adult nonfiction book all in one sitting, but I picked this one up off the new shelf at the library and found myself doing just that. Things I love about this book:

1. It addresses the problem instead of throwing blame around at teachers or parents. Yes, it talks about prevention. But it's a very problem-solving sort of approach as opposed to the books that imply "if only you were righteous enough, your children would be
Sep 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: college
This book was given to me by a dear friend and old high school teacher. I very much appreciated the books goal. It has always been interesting to me why some people choose or do not know how to try and stop bullying. Maybe they are afraid of being called a "snitch". Who even invented that useless word. Snitch is simply someone who cares about someone or something and does something to better the situation of it. I think they should replace the word "snitch" with Hero. I remember being a bystande ...more
Dec 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Elizabeth
One of the most powerful suggestions was about teaching kids not to be bystanders. It reminded me of Stetson Kennedy and his frown campaign. When someone says something bigoted you simply frown...I was also horrified by some of the inaction on the parts of schools and wondering how many boy/girl bullying cases involved athletes, and how many of those that involve athletes are handled differently than those involving non-athletes. Elizabeth probably knows, or maybe her class could research this f ...more
Lenny Husen
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding. As a former victim of many Bullies (adults and children), I learned a lot about myself from this book. I agreed with about 85% of Coloroso's model, advice, and loved how thoughtful and compassionate her writing is.
Every Teachers and Prinicpal of any school or colleage would do well to read this book and take the suggestions to heart.
The book covers why some kids become Bullies, others Bullied and others Bystanders (which covers 99.9% of all kids) yet doesn't place Blame on any one
May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
An important and thought-provoking book about a subject that doesn't get nearly enough attention.  It can actually be a pretty emotional read at times because it forces you to recall some undesirable memories about instances in which you've personally been either the bully, the bullied, or the bystander.  Typically the kind of memories we'd all rather keep buried.  And yet it needs to be done, because the same behavior the leads people to turn a blind eye to schoolyard bullying allows them to le ...more
While this book did have some good advice, I thought it was pretty well hidden. About half of the book was stories of homicide and suicide that had to do with bullying incidents. The author seemed to draw a direct link between the two. However, most experts caution people not to do that. There is more that goes into a suicide or homicide than bullying alone. I think there are better books on bullying out there.
Jul 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Wasn't what I was looking for. This is more geared towards understanding bullying and a parent guide. I was looking for a practitioner's guide as a teacher. ...more
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Some useful tips for parents and schools to help not just the bully but the bullied as well as the bystander who can be taught to be a witness. However, bullying is not just a problem to be resolved by families or schools, it is a nationwide problem and more should be discussed about how and why it has become such a norm in our schools. As a nation, an economy, a community, we have allowed bullying to be a widely accepted part of school life and it is only together we can solve the problem.

I th
Lattisha Fox
May 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
Mediocre. Some useful tips for parents but like a lot of these books references are lacking and from an odd assortment of places - other parenting guides, yoga instructors, a first nations council, WWII, and The Breakfast Club. As usual the section on media and video games is shallow and misleading.
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and was looking for material to assist with Bullying Groups within the schools I go to and found this unhelpful. There was a little information but just didn't have the depth to which I was looking for. Bullying is such a wide spread problem in our children today and I would have appreciated more on how to discuss the topic and work with children. ...more
Shauna Tharp
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Coloroso does a good job delving into the three parts of bullying. There are great indicators to look for, what to do, and what not to do. It's biggest audience is for parents. The section for schools was a little short. There were many examples of different types of bullying and how to distinguish between bullying and other behaviors. ...more
Apr 23, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a scary book to read - being of the 'grandmotherly' age, I wonder if my children dealt with this (and I was totally unaware) and if my grandchildren now deal with bullying of any type. This will spark a conversation in our family. ...more
Andika Blaze
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 05th-my-kindle
Four star up to the first two thirds of the book. Then information is less applicable unless you have an ongoing bullying situation. However, it is outdated. Kids don’t IM each other.
Marisa Maharaj
Mar 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Coloroso does a pretty good review of this topic and it's refreshing the way she regularly abstracts out the information on bullying generally to talk about oppressions such as race, class, gender and sexual orientation. She talks about the use of racial slurs, and sexual harassment as forms of bullying and the tolerance of oppressions in society such as racism or sexism actually causing a lot of bullying. Much of what she writes about the system of bullying, the hierarchy, the need for bystande ...more
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although I originally thought the title and the introduction was slowly lost its glow...
Nathan Lott
May 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
When I was teaching music professionally, my principal asked me to go with her to a professional development seminar and included in that seminar was a presentation on bullying from Barbara Coloroso. They also gave away this book to all of the attendees. This was about eight years ago and I finally got around to reading it. One of the things that spurred me to pick up the book was watching a powerful documentary on Netflix called Bully. I did learn some useful facts and suggestions from the book ...more
Still looking for that PERFECT book on bullying that will help me crack the code...but this one is really close. Coloroso sets up the dynamics as a play, with each--the bully, the bullied, and the bystander--as players. It starts, she says, not from anger, but contempt.

She then discusses each role in detail, showing us the varieties. Her scenarios are heartbreaking. Her information about Columbine is wrong, but her book was written before Dave Cullen's excellent COLUMBINE.

She quotes and refers
Susan Bazzett-Griffith
Perhaps due to the age of this book (an updated version, but the original is well over a decade old), I did not enjoy reading it, as the information is old/outdated, and also, as I've read books that referenced this one IN them as source material, many of the stories and statistics I've read before. That said, it is an important book- one of the very first written to identify the culture of the bystander in the problem of bullying, and one that (as more recent books and articles on the topic oft ...more
Apr 25, 2010 rated it it was ok
I'm unimpressed. For someone who is so active on the speaking circuit, I expected more. She describes a common problem, bullying, and suggests that we oppose it. Wow.

It lacks practical, applicable advice. Through the authors suggestions of ways parents can work to counter bullying, you can see that her biggest piece of advice is: tell an adult. And if that adult won't listen, keep going up the chain of command, even if it means going to the police.

In reality, the police, judges and the governmen
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very readable (if sometimes harrowing) account of the damage done by bullying and what can be done to prevent it. The target audience is parents and educators of children K-12.

Some things I liked:
- Talks about the role that the bully, the bullied, and the not-so-innocent bystander play.
- Specific advice for parents of each of those.
- a lot of resources for parents and educators, including programs that have been successful at other schools
- a real interest in restorative justice: help children
Kressel Housman
Aug 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: parents, teachers, and school principals
As a parent, I found this book invaluable, and I may just recommend it to my kids' principal. The author breaks down the dynamic of the bullying cycle, pointing out that the bystanders also have to be educated for there to be a change. Bullies don't bully unless they have an audience. Bystanders can defuse the situation by telling - not tattling, but telling. Columbine might have been very different had more kids stuck up for the bullied boys sooner.

Unfortunately, I'm one of those unlucky paren
Nov 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book for parents, people who work with kids, or anyone who has been a kid. There is a mix of accounts of actual bullying, tips on what to look for in kids who may be bullied, a bully or a bystander, and ideas for how to encourage children to be involved, caring, and compassionate. There is also a part that gives parents specific phrases they can provide to their kids to help them be assertive with bullies. I also liked that in this section they review some common advice give ...more
Mar 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: education, parenting
There's some good food for thought here, but it took a book study group to really bring out and focus the important material. The book is packed with list after list after list, which gets a little dizzying, and caused me eventually to just start skipping over a lot of it. The one main disagreement I had is with her opinion on video games and youth aggression--but she doesn't back any of it up and it's a short segment and it wasn't a topic of our group discussion, so it's fairly easy to dismiss, ...more
Cassandra Miller
Mar 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Parents, Teacher, Child Care Workers
Recommended to Cassandra by: Beverlie Dietz
Shelves: universtiy
I had to read this book for my Child and Youth Studies class at University, and found it very interesting. The stories of children who had experienced bullying were very powerful. Although I found some of the suggestions about how to approuch bullying at home and at school to be not complete solutions. Some seemed good on paper, but might have some difficulty in the real world. I also believed this book could have had more bullying from a childs perspective, instead of the perspective of an adul ...more
Davis Runes
Aug 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I found it astoundingly concise for a epidemic that seems overwhelmingly improbable to solve. Problem elements I could identify before or even those I'd never considered were all presented, explained and direction given to combat them on various fronts. I would not consider it just a book for parents or teachers but rather anyone. This book confirmed for me that from childhood to adulthood every bit of modeled behavior is critical to shaping a decent caring human being. Not only do teachers, par ...more
Jun 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
I think that this should be required reading for all parents and educators. I learned that all things, whether good or bad, usually start in our homes. (Not a new revelation here, just reiterated). We as parents have the responsibility to nurture empathy and kindness in our children. I also recognized that there are some things that I do or don't do as a parent that can greatly influence whether my children will become victims of bullies, or be a bully or bystander themselves. I will probably bu ...more
Jun 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was my faculty-summer-reading book for the summer. It is well written and does offer some strategies and solutions, although I think we always wish for more. I found it hard to read because it is so sad to hear about the kinds of cruelty kids engage in; we all know these things happen every day, but it is still sad to read about the incidents. I guess I wish there was a little more emphasis on solutions and strategies, but you can only write about what exists after all.... I'd recommend thi ...more
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Barbara Coloroso is the author of the international bestseller Kids Are Worth It! and Parenting Through Crisis and is an acclaimed speaker on parenting, teaching, conflict, resolution, and grieving. Featured in Time, the New York Times, and on many radio and television shows, she lives with her husband in Littleton, Colorado.

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24 likes · 4 comments
“While researching bullying prevention programs for the first edition of this book, I was concerned that many of the programs developed for schools had as their foundation conflict resolution solutions. People who complete such well-intentioned bullying prevention programs become skilled at handling different kinds of conflict and learn effective anger management skills, but they still have no clue how to identify and effectively confront bullying. It is disturbing how often school districts’ procedural handbooks mention the use of a mediator “to resolve” a bullying issue, as if it is a conflict. In doing this we are asking targeted students to be willing to reach some sort of “agreement” with the perpetrators. In conflict, both parties must be willing to compromise or give something up in order to come to a resolution. The bullies are already in a position of power and have robbed the targets of their sense of well-being, dignity, and worth. How much are we asking the targets to give up? With” 2 likes
“there are some fun games and fantasy games like Myst, one of the highest-selling games in the industry, which invite kids into a world that requires them to solve a mystery or accomplish a goal. There are many others that require little more than quick, aggressive, violent responses to a perceived threat. These games reward kids for their speed in reacting and for their quick reflexes. The reactive portions of their brains are strengthened. The abilities to reflect and respond are not reinforced; in fact, they are stifled.” 1 likes
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