What would you do?

Noah faced an ethical dilemma in the eigth grade. Most of the time he felt quite happy at school; he liked his teacher and had a lot of friends from different groups. But there was one thing he really didn’t like at all. Every day he saw the same boy in his class tease and bully the same girl during recess. The boy never bothered Noah, but was very careful to tease the girl where teachers couldn’t see it happen, or during times adult supervision was scarce. It was the same thing every day: the boy would approach the girl, call her names, and follow her until she was just on the verge of crying. Then he would laugh and walk away saying, “ I was just kidding!”

What was hardest for Noah to deal with was the fact that no one ever said anything to the teachers. Sometimes he or someone else would try to stick up for the girl, but that only stopped the teasing that day. It would just begin again the next. And every day Noah struggled with the same thorny question of whether or not to tell on the bully.

Noah feared that if he went to a teacher it would get out that he was the one who told, and he didn’t want the boy to start bullying him instead. He also knew how most of the kids in his class felt about tattletales. There was a very strong code of silence around teasing and bullying. Yet, he hated to watch this poor girl brace herself every day when the recess bell rang.

So, the dilemma in Noah’s mind was, should he tell, or should he ignore it? What would you do?


Click on the picture to watch a P.S.A. on what it is to have good Character – to stand up for someone when no one else will



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23 Responses to What would you do?

  1. johbean says:

    I would probably have told on it. It might loose you some “cool” points, but it would make the world of difference to Noah or the person who is being bullied. I liked the music in the video and thought that it was very effective.

  2. ty says:

    In my opinion I believe that he shoud tell. I believe this because it’s good to tell right away. He will keep doing it on you or someone else. It’s really good to tell right away. He will make other people’s feeling’s hurt or hurt you again. In conclusion I believe it’s good to tell right away.

    • Mr. McFadden says:

      Ty, I like several point you make. I like that you bring attention to the fact that telling on a bully is not just about protecting your feelings, but protecting others as well. It’s so important to get help “right away” as you mention. The quicker action is taken, the less chance there is that someone else will be bullied.

  3. StarFishPrime says:

    If I was Noah I would tell. The girl gets teased every singal day and ruins her day. If he told and the bully came after him I am pretty sure the girl would have your back and tell. This would create a bigger Consequences for that boy.
    Logan out peace :)

  4. emmaw says:

    I should help other people and show character instead of doing nothing and just standing by waiting to see what else happens. If other people don`t help what would our society be.

  5. Oliver says:

    I would probably have told on the bully. because if I didn’t the person might go to more extreme and hurt herself like the video Logan’s dad showed us in class.

  6. magic man says:

    Noah should not wait much longer to tell a teacher (he’s scared to tell because he thinks if he tells on the bully he will come to pick on him). I think Noah should tell and if the bully starts picking on him, then he can tell the teacher. This will get the bully in trouble and hopefully stop.

  7. Willis says:

    Noah should tell, the girl is being bullied, who care’s if you are not as popular as you were, you would most likely to change the girls day. If you just said a few words you could stop bullying. So Noah should go and tell

  8. barrett says:

    In my opioin it is better to tell than be the cool person that does nothing. It takes a bigger person (with more character) to do something than nothing.


  9. brennah says:

    In my opinion I agree. I find it just mean for people to just sit there and not do anything about it. People should not bully in the frist place. It is all about charecter. More people should help out where ever thye are. In a diffrent school, out of school – wherever:p

  10. Doughboy says:

    If I was Noah I would tell because it’s just bad enough to see an innocent girl teased everyday. Even if I got teased I would some how shake off the torment and end up bringing them toward principles. If I helped someone else then I accomplished my mission

    Poke me


  11. J.u.l.i.a says:

    I think he should tell. If he doesn’t want to let the bully know that he told then he should ask the teacher if they could ‘hold’ his name so the bully won’t know. This way he will get what he wants. The girl not being bullied.

    • Mr. McFadden says:

      I agree that the main thing that we want to happen is for the bullying to stop. There are many ways to make that happen, and if one of those ways is by asking a teacher to ensure that the information you are giving them is confidential, then it is important that the adults do what it takes to intervene in the bullying and but also respect and protect those who come forward for help.

  12. tannisha says:

    He should tell on the bully so they will stop teasing the girl and just leave her alone.

    By: Tannisha

  13. michelle says:

    I think the video showed a good example of good character and show what to do when someone is getting bullied. Just becuase you are on the football team dosen’t mean you can’t help someone.

  14. britney says:

    I would have told on the bully. If someone dosen’t tell then they will keep doing it. Everyone will be bullied, which isn’t good. I would tell so the bully will hopefully stop.

  15. brookie wanna cookie! says:

    I think it was great for that guy to help him with everything that got knocked out of his hands. I would do the same to help him out. It is not nice to be bullied and i’m sure it hurts alot so I would do anything to help people that are being bullied, the same as one of the popular people did.

  16. grant says:

    I think he should tell. If he doesn’t tell he is just going to get bullied everyday from now on.

  17. MC Doug says:

    I would show character and help the person in need. Bullying is not okay and people should show more compassion and people shouldn’t stand by waiting for something to happen but to take action themselves.

  18. miranda says:

    I believe Noah should tell. I believe this because if he doesn’t tell nothing would be done. He would get carried away than it is right now. The boy that is bullying the girl will soon end up bullying others or start cyber-bulling.

  19. khadija says:

    I’d hate if someone was picking on me, but if I were Noah, I’d tell about this to a teacher–including how long it was happening. That is the only way for teachers to do something about it. Also, the bully would be in too much trouble to do any more bullying. Noah should also keep his friends with him when he stands up for the girl.

  20. Joh says:

    Hey guys! It’s joh… I’m commenting through my other blog.
    I really miss all of you guys! I am really enjoying destinations, but it’s not the same. The class actually listens! (same age group too!, go figure!)
    I hope that these comments and stuff show up and work with you guy’s blogs… If so, it would be a great way to communicate! :)

  21. Mr. McFadden says:

    This video shows another important component in the efforts to stop bullying. While Noah’s ethical decision was about whether to tell on the bully or not (and your writing above clearly and unanimously argues that he should), this video brings attention to how the bystander can change the culture of bullying by taking immediate and public action to support the victim. Through his response, the football player sends a message to his peers that what happened was a problem that needed to be fixed by showing support to the victim.

    I’m curious though: if you were to film the next 30 seconds of that video, should anything else happen, or was helping the victim pick up his papers enough to prevent the bullying from reoccurring?

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