Host a speaker without the travel costs

Bullying Victim Befriends Bully

How Worst Enemies Became Best Friends

Abby’s story is one of my favorites to tell.  It shares the two simple steps that one middle schooler used to respond to mean behavior and effectively stop it, in less than one week.

This is why the “Peace Sign Approach”  is so powerful.  In this video, I share the secret to helping Abby confront her enemy and find the courage to respond peacefully.  I trust that it will encourage you, whether you’re a student or grownup.  

Believe it or not, you can help a student just like Abby in as little as 5-10 minutes.  I’d love to teach you exactly how to help young people face adversity, grow in resilience, and solve their own social problems.

If you’d like to learn the exact steps that I took to help Abby, click here for a free video training.

The Toxic Word “Bullying”

Stop Using the "B-Word'

by Chris Scheufele, Brooks Gibbs, Jeff Veley | Chris in the Classroom Podcast

Bullying prevention specialists sit down to discuss the negative impacts of the word “bullying”.  Learn why this one word can derail progress when it comes to helping targets of social aggression.

Today, the words “bully” and “bullying” are legal words, as there are anti-bullying laws in every state in America.  Labeling a child a “bully” is naming them a perpetrator in a criminal offense.  Many parents are unaware this language requires an investigation, by law.  This can quickly turn into a legal battle between parents, as both attempt to prove that their child was victimized and did not retaliate.

The word “bullying” describes subjective harm (like name-calling) and objective harm (like assault or destruction of property).  Some say that even the Holocaust was an incident of bullying.

When it comes to using clearer language, Jeff suggests using the words “social aggression” or “dominance behavior” in replacing “bullying”.

Parenting Tips from Grandma Jo

My Grandma Jo has quickly become a memorable figure from my live school assembly. She loves, she dishes wisdom, and (most of all) Grandma don’t play!  In this special interview Grandma talks about what it was like to watch her grandson face bullying at school. Her insight can help parents and students today.

Montana School District Hosts Community Forum on Mental Health

Community members filled the Dawson County High School Auditorium in Glendive, Montana on January 2nd.  The “Stronger Together Community Forum” was created to address growing mental health concerns.  It is expected to be the first in a series of discussions to help address topics like chemical dependence, suicide, bullying, and depression.

The forum was facilitated by Glendive Public Schools Superintendent Stephen Schreibeis and national youth speaker and bullying prevention specialist Jeff Veley.  Prior to the evening forum, Veley had facilitated a professional development training entitled “Empowering Students and Improving Campus Culture” at Glendive.  Together, the two provided information on mental health issues impacting youth both locally and across the nation.Stronger Together Poster

Veley took the stage to share the increase in bullying and anxiety issues nationwide and offered free resources for parents.   He shared the importance of teaching coping skills for suicide prevention.  Focusing more closely on Montana and the local area, Schreibeis candidly shared the challenges that he sees educators and kids face everyday.  He shared that schools are facing a dramatic increase in students with complex mental health issues.  In addition, more students are qualifying for special education programming due to behavioral diagnoses.  While mental health impacts students, schools are not mental health institutions.  Despite increased training and connecting with kids, the needs sometimes outweigh the resources.

Community members joined were invited to ask questions anonymously, via text.  Once received, the submissions were displayed on the auditorium screen for all to see and respond to.  Several attendees raised their hands, offering resources and building connections with those across the aisle.  Those in attendance included school officials, clergy, therapists, law enforcement, and coalition leaders.  The questions and answers are being compiled into a working document to further conversation and will be distributed to those who signed up.  

Schools Pay Students for Bullying Reports

Schools Offer Cash Rewards for Reports of Bullying

Some are calling it “Snitches for Hire”.  Schools are now offering cash rewards to students who report acts of bullying.  This movement is coming after legislation makes bullying a criminal offense.  Repeated acts of mean behavior are now being treated similarly to violent acts, like assault and destruction of property.

I remember walking through my school hallway as a freshman and seeing posters featuring an anonymous tip line.  As a student at an inner-city school which had a reputation for fights, there was no lack of the phrase “if you see something, say something”.  Our school administration wanted to make sure that any threats of violence or the presence of a weapon, was reported and dealt with promptly.

As a 14-year-old, it was clear to me what to report and what not to report.  I was even motivated to keep an eye out for such things.  Not only did I want to be safe, but $50 in cash sounded like a nice reward, for doing the right thing.  Today bullying is being added to the list of behaviors that students can be rewarded for reporting.

What is Considered Bullying?

Today, bullying behaviors such as name-calling and rumors are treated as a crime in many states.  States like New Jersey, Louisiana, and Texas are known for strict anti-bullying legislation which seeks to make bullying a criminal offense, punishable by law.  The only question is “How do you define bullying?”.  As a national speaker who specializes in bullying prevention, I’m consistently amazed at the various answers to this question.  It doesn’t matter if I’m talking to an elementary student, a parent, or a PhD.  I often find that how a person defines bullying does not meet the definition.  There are really three (or some would say, as many as five) widely recognized definitions of bullying.  No wonder kids are confused!

Texas Schools Subject to David’s Law

Texas schools must now follow David’s Law.  Named after David Bartlett Molak, a 16-year-old who completed suicide after being bullied, the law increases the responsibility for educators to investigate cyberbullying and communicate to parents.  It also requires schools to have an anonymous reporting system in place.  Anonymous reporting hotlines recently caused issues in Colorado as teens used a reporting hotline to torment a student and her parents.  Under “David’s Law” bullying is now a criminal offense in the state of Texas.

Teacher Concerns Grow Amid Bullying Reports

Teachers and administrators in Texas, are also concerned about reporting.  Some schools, which offer cash rewards for reporting crimes, are now faced with a difficult decision.  Should they pay the same reward when a report is received for behaviors such as insults jokes, and criticism?  

How Much Does Bullying Cost School Districts?

Educators, though, think that it’s important to take the severity of bullying behavior into consideration before dishing out cash.  Investigating a single bullying incident can costs districts $1,200 – $1,500 of staff time and district resources.  Investigations often involve multiple staff members, meetings/phone calls to parents, repeated student interventions and district paperwork.  If things go legal, the financial risk skyrockets.

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