Make a positive difference in the lives of your students today!


Workbook Under Development

Update: The original materials for Empower Students to Embrace Civility are set forth below. They are at a prior developmental level. This resource is being reworked.

The topics to be covered in a new workbook that is under development include:

  • Evidence documenting the concerns related of effectiveness.
  • Probable key reasons for the concerns of effectiveness
  • Positive relations action plan approach–grounded in guidance from the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights and other current professional resources. 
  • Student leadership and positive social norms–critical to address both the challenge of being hurtful to achieve social dominance and adolescent developmental priorities.
  • Empowering students who are typically targeted–through a focus on trauma informed care, self-regulation, problem-solving, and positive psychology research insight.
  • Encouraging students who are hurtful to accept personal responsibility, remedy the harms, and stop engaging in hurtful behavior–recognizing rationalizations, integrating principles from the science of influence, and using restorative practices to hold students accountable.
  • Increasing positive peer intervention–by addressing both personal and environmental factors and the perceived barriers to increase the likelihood and effectiveness of peer interventions,. Desired positive peer interventions include: supporting those who have been treated badly, resolving conflict, saying stop, advising a friend to stop, and recognizing when situations should be reported to an adult. 
  • Increasing the effectiveness of staff interventions when they witness hurtful incidents, which most often occur when staff have other pressing responsibilities–including identifying more serious situations that should be reported for resolution at a higher level, intervening and resolving more minor incidents, and follow-up to ensure effectiveness. 
  • Legal parameters related to hurtful behavior–including discriminatory harassment, torts, requirements for students with disabilities, and free speech versus hurtful speech and off-campus speech issues.
  • Comprehensive investigations and restorative interventions in more serious situations–including recognizing those students who require a Tier II or III level intervention, required IEP/504 meetings, restorative approach using an accountability process, positive action plan for the targeted student. 

The workbook will contain the following additional resources:

  • Assessment and Positive Norms Student and Staff Surveys.
  • Planning Template for a Positive Relations Action Plan.
  • Student Handbook for the Be a Leader! Embrace Civility student program.  
  • Investigation and Intervention Template.
  • Accountability Assessment and Agreement for Students Who Were Hurtful.
  • Positive Action Plan for Targeted Students.

Prior Resources

These prior resources are available for your review. The same insight will be presented in the new workbook. But in a revised and simplified manner. 

Empower Students to Embrace Civility is a research-based professional development resource for Independent Study, for use as a School Professional Development Package, and as a Component of a University Course for educators.

Empower Students to Embrace Civility will empower educators to make a very positive difference in the lives of their students.

How many times have you as a teacher, counselor, or school leader had to respond to a situation where students are being hurtful to each other–and you just don’t feel as though you have sufficient expertise to help all of the students involved? It is no wonder that you don’t know what to do. I have looked over the guidance provided to educators and this rarely provides you with concrete, well-founded suggestions.

This resource is different! Thoroughly grounded in the research–with a focus on positive, easy to implement strategies. 

Empower Students to Embrace Civility Part I

The first set of documents and instructional videos are designed for all school staff. This resource is intended to lead to positive change on two levels:

  1. Empowering students with the values and skills to embrace civility and foster positive relations by empowering targeted students, helping those who are hurtful stop and remedy the harm, and increasing positive peer intervention.
  2. Ensuring that when general staff witness hurtful incidents or such concerns are reported to them, their intervention response is effective.

This resource includes:

  • Unit 1. Shifting from “bullying prevention” to “embracing civility.” Document. Video
  • Unit 2. Student thoughts from the Embrace Civility Student Survey.  Document. Video
  • After the videos were completed, I rewrote what was set forth in Units 1 and 2 into a new document. This is currently in document format only, with no video. 
  • Unit 3. Strategies to empower targeted students to become more self-confident and resilient. Document. Video. 
  • Unit 4. Strategies to help hurtful students to stop, accept personal responsibility, and remedy the harm. Document. Video. 
  • Unit 5. Strategies to increase students’ willingness to step in to help. Document. Video
  • Unit 6. Effective general staff interventions to hurtful incidents. Document. Video. 

 Some states have affiliated with Learning Forward: The Professional Learning Association and are utilizing their Standards for Professional Learning to outline the characteristics of professional learning that leads to effective teaching practices, supportive leadership, and improved student results. This document explains how Empower Students to Embrace Civility meets these standards.

“Flipped Classroom” Strategy

Recognizing the challenges of providing effective professional development at the school — which leads successfully to improved practice — the following “flipped classroom” approach was developed:

  • Assign the staff to read the document and watch the video for each Unit, on their own time.
  • After the study of each Unit, the staff are to discuss the insight with a group of students. The school can set the parameters for the extent of discussion. Suggested discussion questions are provided.
  • Each staff member then completes a one page Report Form.
  • Staff bring their Report Forms to a staff meeting for a discussion. A recommended facilitation approach is provided. However, the school also can set the parameters for this discussion.
  • The Report Forms and results of the facilitated staff discussion are provided to the School Leadership Team for further analysis and development of a more formalized plan of action.

Other approaches are also possible. For example, holding just one discussion with students and then one facilitated planning session. Embrace Civility in the Digital Age has also developed surveys for students and staff. If these surveys are administered, an analysis of the data should inform a staff discussion. 

University Course

This 6 Unit course can also be integrated into a university course for educators. Contact me for copyright clearance permission. I can also provide instructors with slideshows they can use in class. 

Empower Students to Embrace Civility Part II

I have been developing additional Resources for the school leadership responsible for comprehensive planning and investigation and intervention in more serious or ongoing situations. These resources are in draft format–work in progress.

I can provide a workshop or webinar on these issues. If funds become available, it is my intent to finalize the documents and also create instructional videos.


If you are interested in making a donation to support these efforts or because you received value from these current resources, this would be gratefully received. This is not a 501 c3 organization. 


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