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Safe School Ambassadors: Harnessing Student Power to Stop Bullying and Violence

ISBN: 978-0-470-19742-4
352 pages
April 2008, Jossey-Bass
Safe School Ambassadors: Harnessing Student Power to Stop Bullying and Violence (0470197420) cover image


Safe School Ambassadors is an essential guide for school administrators, counselors, teachers, parents, and youth organization leaders. It challenges the current "outside-in" thinking?that keeping schools safe is accomplished primarily by adults through heightened security and stricter policies. It makes the case for a complementary ?inside-out? approach that taps the power of students to change the social norms of a school culture in order to stop bullying and violence.
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Table of Contents



Part I: The Extent and Costs of Mistreatment and the Outside-In Response.

Chapter 1: A Day in the Life.

Chapter 2: The High Cost of Mistreatment.

Chapter 3: The Outside-In Approach.

Part II Building Safer Schools from the Inside Out.

Chapter 4: The Inside-Out Approach.

Chapter 5: Building a Safe School Climate.

Part III: Youth as Social Change Agents.

Chapter 6: Empowering Youth.

Chapter 7: Understanding and Mobilizing Bystanders.

Chapter 8: From Bystanders to Peacemakers.

Chapter 9: Results and Stories of Ambassadors in Action.

Part IV: A Call to Action.

Chapter 10: A Road Map for the Future.

Appendix A: Presentation Tips.

Appendix B: Responding to Questions and Concerns.

Appendix C: Ambassador Survey.

Appendix D: Recruiting Allies and Partners.

Appendix E : Needs Assessment.




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Author Information

Rick Phillips, M.Ed., a former teacher and principal, is the executive director of Community Matters, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering young people to be agents of positive social change.

John Linney, M.A., has twenty years of youth development experience and is the executive director of Impact Coaching and Speaking, specializing in organizational climate issues.

Chris Pack, BSE, program director of Community Matters, co-developed the Safe School Ambassadors program and has developed and delivered many training seminars on youth development.

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The Wiley Advantage

  • Bullying and violence in schools are a very hot topic at the moment, from the extreme violence of school shootings, to the everyday bullying going on in the average middle school playground.  Every counselor, school psychologist, and teacher needs training in how to deal with this.
  • The authors have developed a unique program, called "Safe School Ambassadors" that has been used at 500 schools (over 20,000 children and teens have received the training described in the book) with marked results.
  • The program enlists students themselves in the prevention of violence and bullying by training them to respond with specific strategies to diffuse different situations.  Rather than becoming "snitches" for the administration, these "ambassadors," who are typically leaders of different cliques, are trained to deal effectively with their peers and work to create a culture in which cruelty and violence are not tolerated.
  • Safe School Ambassadors has a cadre of seven trainers who work with schools around the country.
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Related Websites / Extra

Community Matters: Building Community Through Positive ActionCommunity Matters, based in Santa Rosa, CA., is the organization supporting the Safe School Ambassadors Program. Their mission is to promote positive youth development. They equip individuals and organizations with the knowledge and tools to build communities where all children and youth can feel safe, connected, and empowered. Visit their website to learn more about Safe School Ambassadors, bullying and violence prevention, youth as contributors, strategies and tools for adults, or staff development in your school or district.
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