If you saw a little girl being bullied by her peers, would you say something? Would anyone?
A viral video marketing agency set out to answer those questions, and in a heart-warming video of the social experiment, showed total strangers were willing to speak up to put a stop to the cruelty.
“Do you have any friends at all? Any ones that aren’t imaginary?” two girls laughed at a third middle schooler as they waited at a bus stop in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Their jabs drew dirty looks from others waiting at the bus stop, but most people couldn’t hold back after listening to the mean comments.
“How would you like it if somebody who was a little bit older than you came and told you that you weren’t any good?” one woman asks. “You don’t hurt somebody’s feelings… intentionally.”
Another man interjected when the little girl was made fun of for liking books.
“Quit messing with her. You keep reading. Don’t mess with her like that. It’s not nice,” he said.
At least one in three kids will be bullied during their time at school, the video notes.
“The idea came from thinking about what’s called the ‘bystander effect,’ that if someone comes across an issue/conflict/etc. that they’ll just defer to someone else to deal with it,” Rob Bliss of Rob Bliss Creative, which created the anti-bullying campaign for Up TV, told INSIDE EDITION.
“With this video we wanted to challenge that notion through bullying and see if people would be willing to step in and do the right thing,” Bliss said.
More than 50 percent of people who came across the scenario intervened, he said.
“I was surprised by the results a bit. It can take heart to confront someone about their actions, especially a complete stranger,” Bliss said.
The girls were in on the experiment and found the experience to be “positive and eye opening,” Bliss said.
“They too wondered if anyone cared, and knowing that this community does care, meant a lot,” he continued, offering his advice on the subject.
“So long as there's no threat of physical alternation, absolutely speak up. Even more than that, is to be aware of your surroundings and be aware of the warning signs of bullying. This video really reinforces the idea of ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’”