Josh has a great post at More Than Men about bystanders.
There’s a special place in my imaginary hell for tepid bystanders who turn a blind eye to the suffering and targeting of someone more vulnerable. I hate them, and I hate them more than I hate the tormentors. Because they fly a false flag. They present themselves as friends but turn out to be collaborators at the most dire moments. Because they know better and they choose to do nothing. To do nothing in a way that magnifies the stage, and scope, and power of bullies.
I came out publicly at 12 years old. This was very unusual in the mid-80s. There were no such things as Gay/Straight Alliances. We queer kids gathered in a sympathetic guidance counselor’s office (bless you, Mrs. H. I still remember giving you makeup tips and how delighted you were when you saw the results.) on a time-rotating basis so no one would figure out we were all in the same place at the same time. We knew we’d be harassed and beaten even worse if our ad hoc meetings were found out. We knew the administration would turn a blind eye, that it might make life professionally difficult for Mrs. H.
There was a 10th grade English teacher, a lesbian, who should have helped him but didn’t. Read it.