Bystander Effect-Article Writing

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.”