Blog posts tagged with "School Safety"


Sexual Misconduct: Students Know When Employees “Cross the Line”

April 5 2017

The level of sexual misconduct taking place in our schools is frightening. We hear about cases almost weekly or daily in the news. The research suggests only about 25% of the students that become involved in these improper relationships tell their parents. The research also indicates that approximately 10% of students experience behavior or comments that are inappropriate.


An Intrapersonal Narrative of LGBTQ+

March 21 2017

The truth is that LGBTQ+ folks still suffer a myriad of struggles on a daily basis. If we cannot change the world around us to be more accepting overnight, then how do we cope and/or strengthen our internal selves to take on the day-to-day struggles?


What to Do About Hate Crimes in Our Schools

February 8 2017

It’s clear that our children have not gone unscathed in the current political climate. Bullying and cyber-bullying, already a major problem in America’s schools, have now been exacerbated by an elevated awareness in student’s minds of homophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, racism, misogyny and xenophobia. Just like the rest of us, young people are trying to make sense of what they’ve heard and seen in the “adult world”, and they’re acting out from a place of confusion, frustration, fear and heightened stress.


The High Value of Student Engagement in Creating Safer Schools: A Risk Management Perspective

January 23 2017

One of our forward thinking principals had already brought the Safe School Ambassadors Program (SSA) to our district, having learned of it from a friend in another district. As our JPA promoted SSA to more schools, we determined that beside the social and cultural benefits of reducing acts of bullying, it was also likely to reduce the number of insurance claims.


5 Keys for Gaining Parent and Family Buy-In for Restorative Practices

January 9 2017

Since restorative practices is not a program or a curriculum, but rather a philosophy and a way of thinking and acting, introducing restorative practices to the students’ families in an inclusive, collaborative and culturally sensitive manner is critical for success.


Bullying, Cyberbullying and Teen Suicide: Risks and Prevention Strategies

December 5 2016

Research shows that suicide-related behaviors are caused by a myriad of factors, and are often not related to a single cause or incident. We also know that bullying/cyberbullying is one of the contributing factors in students turning to suicide as a “solution” to their problems.


Bullying on the School Bus and What We Can Do About It

November 9 2016

Far too often, students who begin or end their day with what should be a peaceful and fun time, instead find themselves the targets of teasing, taunting or isolation on their school bus. Here's what we can do about it.


Successful School Climate Improvement: 5 Action Steps for Starting the Year Off Right

September 12 2016

It’s déjà vu all over again, as another start to the school year is upon us. This is a time to reconnect to our reasons for caring about students and doing all we can to ensure that they attend schools where they feel welcome, safe and connected to caring adults.


LGBTQ Students Need Support: How Safe School Ambassadors Can Help

May 25 2016

When we take a sober look at harassment and bullying in school communities, we know that anti-gay bullying is rampant and often unchecked. As students realize their sexual identity and gender orientation younger, it is essential that this school community’s population have the emotional support to ensure their mental and physical health and well-being.


Whole School Climate: Changing the Narrative and Getting the Results We Want

May 9 2016

There is increased recognition of the value, benefits and effectiveness of implementing school climate improvement reform. To address both the opportunities and the challenges, a clear and compelling climate roadmap for schools is needed...


Youth Empowerment: An Essential Driver for Reducing Discipline and Creating Safer Schools

March 1 2016

As educators and caring adults, we’re always looking for ways to reduce students’ risky behavior, increase their attendance and improve their achievement. What we have often failed to recognize is that student empowerment is the most effective strategy for reaching these desired outcomes. Empowering youth requires seeing students through a strength-based lens, not a deficit-based one; viewing young people as assets and not problems.


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Inspired Us to be Courageous Upstanders

February 1 2016

Dr. King said that “we must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.” Although he spoke those words a long time ago, the need for courage in the face of fear is no less prophetic today than it was in the midst of the American civil rights movement of the 60’s.


The Growing Problem of Hazing and What Schools Can Do About It

December 14 2015

Hazing is a serious problem among today’s young athletes - especially among kids who believe it’s the only way they’ll get to fit in.


Youth Voices - Empowering Students As Peacemakers

October 27 2015

As a Programs & Services Coordinator at Community Matters, I have the unique opportunity of working with hundreds of schools across the country to help them launch Safe School Ambassadors® (SSA)- our flagship bystander education and youth empowerment program. One of the best parts of my job is hearing student feedback on the two-day training.


A Former Bully Gives 5 Tips for Proactively Addressing Bullies

October 12 2015

I know I wasn't the worst, but I sure didn't help.  When I was in high school and all of my friends were picking on C.L., I joined in without a thought. 


National Bullying Prevention Month - Making a Difference

October 1 2015

Increasing student voice and utilizing a peer-to-peer role-modeling approach is the quickest, most cost efficient and effective way to change the social norms on campus and reduce bullying, cyber-bullying and harassment.


5 Ways to Create a Positive Climate For the New School Year

August 10 2015

Back-to-school is obviously an exciting time, yet for many children, starting the new year can seem like a minefield filled with risk, vulnerability and concern for their safety. Here are some concrete and effective actions you can take to help your students start the school year with the best chance for success:


A Grateful Mother Speaks About the Impact of Being an Upstander

May 11 2015

This week's guest blog is written by the mother of a Safe School Ambassador in northern California.


Community Matters partners with Twitter to reduce and prevent cyberbullying

April 28 2015

Twitter and Community Matters are teaming together via a combination of shared resources to help reduce cyberbullying, by both identifying and preventing online abuse.


5 Strategies for Preventing Hazing, Harassment and Bullying in School Athletics

April 14 2015

Although we can never be sure exactly where it starts, the culture of sports hazing has been around a long time. One way to describe this phenomena is that it’s behavior modelled by others in a superior positon which I adopt as my own once I have been elevated to that place of superiority or power.


The Pain of Being Bullied – One Student’s Story

March 30 2015

It’s likely that at some point in your life, either you or someone close to you has been subjected to the effects of cyberbullying, bullying, hazing or harassment. But nothing hits home more than when it happens to someone you care about.


Community Does Matter – The Longing for Belonging

March 17 2015

The evidence-based Safe School Ambassadors Program (SSA) empowers elementary, middle and high school students to recognize mistreatment when it’s happening, to have the courage and skills to intervene, and to transform it into self-awareness, kindness and compassion.


10 Ways You Can Help Stop Bullying – A Guide for Parents & Teachers

March 2 2015

As bullying, cyberbullying and intolerance affect more and more children, it’s increasingly crucial that adults, both parents and teachers, increase their awareness and understanding of how their children interact with each other, both in person and online. Here are some practical steps you can take to better protect the young people in your care.


Restorative Practices: 5 Keys to Successful Implementation - Part 2

February 18 2015

In Part 2 of this series, in which we are outlining 5 key strategies for successful implementation of Restorative Practices (RP), we will cover:
- Staff Engagement / Overcoming Resistance
- Using Systems Thinking
- Strategic, Incremental Implementation


Restorative Practices: 5 Keys to Successful Implementation - Part 1

February 2 2015

In this 2-part series we outline 5 key strategies for successful implementation of restorative practices (RP). In this first part we will address the first two:

- Strong Leadership / Leading Restoratively

- Creating a Learning Organization


Making Sense of School Climate - Part 5: Measuring, Collecting and Reporting Data

January 20 2015

There’s no way around it… whether you’re conversant and comfortable with the “ins and outs” of data collection and measurement - or not -  at the end of the day, data drives decisions. That’s why it’s important to understand what the data is illustrating about climate and then to select measures that are easy to collect and simple to explain.


Making Sense of School Climate - Part 4: How to Organize, Implement and Coordinate Your Efforts

January 5 2015

One thing for sure is that there is no shortage of plans, lists of to do’s or action steps to be taken when it comes to improving our schools. However, too often those plans don’t ever reach their intended or desired end results. Somewhere between the plan and execution, things break down.

Why? In the 15 plus years we have been assisting schools in school safety and school climate change, we’ve identified some critical missteps...


Making Sense of School Climate and What to Do About It - Part 3: Gaining Stakeholder Buy-In

December 8 2014

Like most changes in life, even policy changes that have the potential to positively affect school climate will likely be met with at least some level of resistance. It just seems to be human nature to fear and resist change, so effective leaders need to learn to work with the resistance.


Making Sense of School Climate and What to Do About It - Part 2: Climate Assessment

November 17 2014

A school climate assessment is a step-by-step process that assists school leaders in determining what’s working, what’s not and what’s missing in their current climate efforts. Using a thorough analysis process provides the foundational information necessary for effective planning and implementation of the many climate mandates and initiatives that schools are expected to manage.


The Power of Community in Influencing School Climate

May 21 2014

Community as a determinant of school climate is one of the more indirect influences, but it is no less important. It is reflected in the emphasis that the community places on education, and on nurturing the educational and social-emotional well-being of its youth.



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