The Upstanders explores all sides of cyber-bullying, from bully to victim, bystanders and family members. Social media’s power means that bullying is now a 24/7 phenomenon, where even changing schools and phone numbers, or deleting accounts cannot stop the cycle. Covid has increased the incidence of cyber-bullying by 70%. Changing human behavior and connection is the key, and this is what the film addresses.
Weaving together personal stories of teenagers and their families, as well as teachers and brain-scientists, The Upstanders shows the importance of empathy and resilience to transforming attitudes and action, and highlights new laws and established programs that are already reducing bullying in schools and communities. It shows that everyone is needed to eradicate cyber-bullying, and gives bystanders the confidence and tools to become 'Upstanders', and help change the narrative.
Said the film provided helpful tools & tips on how to be an Upstander
Intend to practice some of the tools & tips from the film
Said The Upstanders changed the way they look at bullying behavior
Think The Upstanders should be shown at every organization or school
"I’ve seen a lot of movies about bullying. But the focus on brain science and how bullying has evolved was very interesting and made me think differently."
6th Grade Student
"What struck me is that we need a cultural shift in our school. I feel like we need to start emulating what we saw in the film – celebrating kindness, rather than consequences for mean behavior."
Middle School Teacher
Film Director Scilla Andreen speaking with anti-bullying spokeswoman and author Eleni Theodorou
David’s mother Maurine Molak talking about the impact of David’s Law
“I left feeling guilty. I know I’ve been a bystander. I don’t want to be a part of making people feel badly. I know I can do better.”
— Tatum W.
“It was the first few moments of the film that stayed with me. Kids have more power than ever now – the power that is all the more potent with immediacy. Our focus needs to be on teaching kids how to slow down and reflect on their choices. I think we need to make decision-making a more concrete part of our character education pieces; this film really put that into the spotlight for me.”
— Shayla M.