To effectively reduce 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, stop themselves from being hurtful and take steps to make things right if they are, and be self-confident and respond with positive power if someone is hurtful to them.
Embrace Civility in the Digital Age promotes a 21st Century approach to address bullying and youth risk in the digital age. This approach promotes positive norms, increases effective skills and resiliency, and encourages young people to be helpful allies who positively intervene when they witness peers being hurt or at risk. Join our Facebook Page.
My objectives are to develop and disseminate powerful positive approaches to promote positive youth relations by:
- Helping young people gain greater self-confidence and resilience to reduce the potential they will be treated badly and increase their effectiveness in responding.
- Encourage those young people who are on a path to leadership to become positive leaders who promote acceptance of differences and positive intervention, rather than engaging in hurtful behavior to achieve dominance.
- Encourage young people who witness hurtful behavior to be Helpful Allies who step in to help by reaching out, saying stop, ore reporting serious concerns.
- Increase the effectiveness of adults in intervening in ways that foster resilience, restoration, and intervention.
- Increase the capacity of adults, including educators, youth development professionals, and parents/guardians, in providing essential support to those young people who are more frequently targeted, including those who are also aggressive.
I want to share with you some of the resources I have created – and describe what is left to create, for which I am requesting funds and assistance. For several years, I have been working on an instructional approach for young people. This has gone by various names. The current name is Be a FRIEND! This program presents a positive norms and effective skills approach to help young people build positive relations (aka bullying prevention). You can view the current resources:
I have also been developing a new approach for professional development for schools, and also for after school programs. This approach uses a “flipped classroom” model. Staff are provided with written materials and short videos. For each short video staff are provided with questions to ask students and a report form. Staff can watch the videos and discuss the issues with students on their own time and record their thoughts and insight on the report form. The report form is then brought to the staff meeting to support discussion. This report form will also provide valuable insight for the school’s school climate leadership committee.
There will be three sets of materials:
- For teachers (including substitute teachers). You can preview the written materials for teachers here.
- For school climate leadership staff (principals, mental health personnel, special education). These materials will address investigations and interventions in more serious situations, as well as legal issues.
- For classified staff.
What is left to be accomplished (that requires funds to accomplish) is:
- Conduct a survey of youth in grades 5 – 10 to assess norms and skills, as well as school climate and effectiveness of adult interventions. This data can help to increase the effectiveness of the youth instruction. This survey will also then be made available to schools and youth organizations.
- Create 12 instructional videos that introduce the concepts outlined in the above instructional objectives.
- Upgrade the graphics and produce posters demonstrating the positive norms and effective skills.
Information about Resources on this Site
Under development are resources for professional development of staff. These resources will consist of written materials and short videos. After staff watch each video, they will be provided with questions to discuss with students and a report form. This report form should be bought to the staff meeting to support a quality discussion . Positive Relations @ School (& Elsewhere) is my new book that provides guidance to schools on how to reduce bullying and harassment and limit its harmful effects in a manner that will both effectively address the well-being of students and assist schools from avoiding litigation and civil rights enforcement actions.
This report briefly outlines the challenges and positive strategies to move forward. New Report: Bullying Prevention: Time to Rethink & Redirect
Embrace Civility in the Digital Age proudly announces the availability of new, research-based resources for Youth Organizations: Powerfully Promoting Positive Youth Relations in Youth Organizations. Read this short document that outlines the overall approach. Visit the Youth Organizations page to preview and find out more about these resources!
Be a FRIEND! is the youth instruction program.
This book is available as a reward for those who have contributed $25 to the Go Fund Me campaign.
I have also written a document for summer camps on positive strategies to support transgender youth. Please feel free to download this here and provide it to any summer camp.
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.
Over the years, Nancy Willard has written numerous reports and articles. You can find these resources on this page.
- Embrace Civility Blog
- Embrace Civility Discussion Group