To effectively foster positive student relations and hurtful student behavior (including “bullying) requires shifting to a powerfully positive approach that emphasizes the positive norms held by the majority of youth and empowers young people with the skills necessary to effectively step in to help if they witness hurtful behavior, to stop themselves from being hurtful and take steps to make things right if they have been, and to be self-confident and respond with positive power if someone is hurtful to them.

This also requires that staff have an accurate understanding of hurtful interactions between students and effective strategies to assist students stop being hurtful, accept personal responsibility, remedy the harm, and restore relationships.

Information about Resources on this Site

Be a Leader!

Be a Leader! is Embrace Civility in the Digital Age’s powerfully positive program to empower students to:

  • Reach Out to those who have been left out or treated badly.
  • Say “Stop” to those who are hurtful.
  • Report Concerns to an adult who can help.
  • Stop, Own It & Fix It if they have been hurtful.
  • Be Positively Powerful in response to hurtful incidents.

Version I of this program is provided to schools AT NO CHARGE!!! (I embrace the growth mindset. These resources and the Embrace Civility: Fostering Positive Relations in School resource will be improved with your feedback.)

Read here for a brief description of what Be a Leader! is about and the importance of helping students foster positive relations at a time when, unfortunately, this is not what they are seeing from some adults.

Embrace Civility: Fostering Positive Relations in School

Embrace Civility: Fostering Positive Relations in School is a professional development resource for school staff. This resource will include 6 short videos for school staff to watch, with accompanying written materials. Using a “flipped classroom-student voice” approach, staff can watch these videos on their own and then ask students questions about what they learned. This insight is then brought to a staff meeting for discussion and identification of positive strategies.

The 6 units cover:

  • Unit 1. Embrace Civility Student Survey & Overview of a Positive New Approach
  • Unit 1. Research Insight to Support Rethinking Bullying Prevention
  • Unit 3. Helping Students Who Have Been Targeted Gain Resilience
  • Unit 4. Helping Students Who Are Hurtful Stop, Own it & Fix it
  • Unit 5. Encouraging Students to Step in to Help
  • Unit 6. Effective Interventions by Staff Who Witness Hurtful Incidents

Unit 7. Effective Investigations & Restorative Interventions is a resource for designated staff members who must respond to the more serious hurtful situations. This resource also contains a Positive Plan of Action for any student facing challenges and an Accountability Agreement for any student who has been hurtful.

This resource is thoroughly research-based. It is close to completion. However, at this time the insight provided is being reviewed by researchers and practitioners to ensure the highest quality. The written resource is available for preview through the Be a Leader! page

Expert Services

Nancy Willard is available for workshops and can also provide webinars for professional development. Nancy also provides legal research, mediation, and settlement assistance to attorneys working for school districts or student plaintiffs.


Nancy’s resources to address digital safety are found here. This work has been “back-benched” while Nancy has been working on new resources to promote positive relations.

Informational Documents

Over the years, Nancy Willard has written numerous reports and articles. You can find these resources on this page.

Image. Wikipedia Commons. Created by Lumax Art at: http://www.lumaxart.com/

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