Recently, I was at the opening remarks for the CSEE (Center for Social and Emotional Education) Summer Institute. (By the way, any organization whose whole reason for being is to help schools create the most nurturing environments possible has my respect.) They coined the word “UPSTANDER.” What a fantastic term for both adults and children.

It says so much more than “bystander.” It’s says “I see you and I’ll help.” Kids may try to look tough. They may be functioning — but sometimes you can see that scared or lost look on their face. Are they being ostracized, intimidated, physically bullied, harassed online? So often, they’re afraid to say. They just want someone to see it on their face, guess there’s a problem and “stand by me.”

This obviously universal song says everything else needed to be said. Congratulations to all those upstanders — moms, dads, teachers, coaches, friends, and anyone who knows what it’s like to need someone to help and stepped up.

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