Bystander Effect ( Communication )
Your assignment: write 4 pages rubric
Your name is Milton. You worked late at your office. It was 10 p.m., when you left your office building.
As you entered your poorly lit parking garage, your attention was captured by the sight of three high school-aged boys kicking and beating a shabbily dressed elderly man. He cried out for help, but the boys continued to pummel him with fists and kicks.
As the boys caught sight of you entering the garage, they abandoned the man and ran off to the lower floors of the garage by the exit stairs.
You cautiously approached the man. You saw that he was bleeding profusely. Fearing that the boys would return to the scene, and extract the same abuse on you, you ran to your parked car and screeched your tires as you shot through the exit gate. You did not notice that the heel of your custom-made (by the only shoemaker in the city) right shoe had trod on the blood pool of this unfortunate victim.
Upon your panicked departure, another person, a woman, walked toward her parked car. She saw your car whiz past her. She took note of the model of your car but not your license plate number. Her eyes immediately lit on the mound of dirty clothing, which was the victim, and the rapidly expanding pool of blood around his head. She assumed that since you had parted he scene so hurriedly, that you had beaten this man.
Fearing that since she had not noted the departing car’s license plate number, she soon might become “a person of interest” if she called the police. She ran to her car and sped off. She did not notice the missing metallic button missing from her designer suit. The button, with the designer’s logo on it, lay next to the victim’s filthy coat.
Your name is Sam or Samantha Watkins. You are a reporter for “The Big City Gazette.” It is the next morning and you have been called to this parking garage to report on this brutal murder.
You think to yourself. This is America! Citizens stop to help even strangers. This poor man was beaten to death by one of the witnesses to this scene, or by a group of thugs. Why didn’t any of these people call the police?
You intend to write a newspaper story explaining to your readers, two possible reasons for the witnesses and thugs to enact the “bystander” effect.
Your article will also explain at least two possible courses of actions the witnesses could have possibly taken to shake off their initial “bystander” roles, play a more proactive role, and summoned help for the victim.
Your article will be called “You’re an American! Never Be a Bystander.”