Community Matters in the News

Click on the links below to access articles on Safe School Ambassadors and other Community Matters programs and services, as well as interviews of and editorials by CM Founder Rick Phillips.

April 20 2019 by Karen Bossick,

Safeguarding Schools Inside-Out Instead of Outside-In

Most schools adopt an adult-driven, control-driven, outside-in approach to secure schools. They rely on school resource officers, punitive policies and, often, metal detectors. That approach—keeping trouble out—may work at an airport or in a prison but not in schools, says Community Matters founder Rick Phillips.

April 3 2019 by Rory Linnane, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Most bullying happens away from adults. This Wisconsin school teaches kids to step in

Safe School Ambassadors at Adams-Friendship High School in Wisconsin are making a difference in the lives of their peers.

December 14 2016, The Photo News

Youth Bureau, District Attorney and Department of Mental Health partner to address school safety

The Orange County Youth Bureau recently hosted a two-day Safe School Ambassadors/SSA Training-of-Trainers with teachers and school counselors from Washingtonville, Monroe-Woodbury, Cornwall High Schools and the Putnam County Youth Bureau.

October 23 2016 by Kristine Galloway, Wyoming Tribune Eagle

LCSD1 students team up to combat bullying

Laramie County School District 1’s Safe School Ambassadors hosted an anti-bullying march down Capitol Avenue on Saturday. Following the march, the crowd sat on the lawn at the state Supreme Court Building and listened to student testimonies about why the Safe School Ambassadors mission is so important.

October 11 2016 by Joleen Flores Respicio, Pacific Daily News

Opinion: Project advances bullying prevention

The Judiciary of Guam has partnered with the Guam Department of Education since 2008 to teach students law-related education. The courts launched the DUO and B.A.S.T.A. (Bullying Affects Students, Teachers, and All) campaign in 2011 through outreach and implementation of bullying prevention programs in Guam schools. The campaign is designed to raise awareness to inspire youth and families around the island to stand up to bullying.

July 13 2015 by Wendy Lee, San Francisco Chronicle

To fight cyberbullying, school makes students online hall monitors

Students at Pasadena High School train as Safe School Ambassadors to stop cyberbullying.

February 9 2015, Kern Golden

Kern County students fight bullying on Facebook

A pair of Bakersfield high school students are heading to Facebook Tuesday to discuss with state leaders the importance of finding a solution to bullying.

March 3 2014 by OpEd by Karla Conroy, SSA Program Adviisor, Adele Harrison Middle School, Sonoma Index-Tribune

Safe School Ambassadors lead the change

The Community Matters Safe School Ambassadors program, and the Waking Up Courage Assembly, have led to a change in the school environment at Adele Harrison Middle School.

Students are part of the positive climate solution

Safe School Ambassadors take an "inside-out" approach, believing students have the power to peacefully interject in many situations when they see bullying and harassment among other students. Teachers and staff alone cannot solve these problems, and the Safe School Ambassador Program is one piece of a school-wide effort to engage students as part of the solution.

October 2 2013 by Tara Garcia Matthewson, The Daily Herald

Bullying: Schools get students involved in solution

In Community Unit District 300, three schools in Carpentersville and Algonquin have launched a new anti-bullying program this year. The Safe School Ambassador Program is student-driven. Leaders in the various social groups are trained to prevent, stop or report bullying, whether it is Internet-based or happens within the school.

August 15 2013 by Bethany Wesley, The Bemidji Pioneer

Blocking out bullying: New program launched to help curb bullying in Bemidji schools

The Joseph and Janice Lueken Family Foundation on Thursday unveiled its plan to fund the implementation of the Safe Schools Ambassador program throughout Bemidji Area Schools' six elementary schools.

June 5 2013 by Annita West, The Aransas Pass Progress

Safe School Ambassadors visit Aransas Pass elementary schools

Aransas Pass High School Safe School Ambassadors visited Kieberger Elementary Tuesday, May 21 to share the Dr. Seuss book, Horton Hears a Who and the advantages of becoming a SSA student.

March 6 2013 by Martha Rose Brown, The Times and Democrat, Orangeburg, SC

‘Safe School Ambassadors’: Selected District 3 students trained to help stop bullying

Orangeburg, SC Consolidated School District Three is taking a proactive approach in tackling the issue of bullying in the schools by introducing the Safe School Ambassadors Program to train selected student leaders how to identify bullying and to “intervene non-violently.

March 4 2013 by Madhu Krishnamurthy, Chicago Daily Herald

How to change a culture of hazing in schools

Changing a culture of hazing in schools takes more than the mere adoption of anti-bullying policies or having students take pledges - it requires making the school environment not just physically but emotionally safer

February 26 2013 by Doug Keeler, Midway Driller Editor , Taft Midway Driller

Lincoln Jr. High takes fight against bullying into the community

Students from Lincoln Junior High in Taft, CA are taking the battle against bullying up another step, and, as Lincoln assistant principal Heather Ward told the District's Board of Education, it's starting to pay off.

February 5 2013 by Marney Simon, Free Press Newspapers, Wilmington, IL

Reed-Custer ambassadors listen, learn

115 students from grades 4 through 12 in the Reed-Custer Consolidated Union School District in Braidwood, Illinois, participated in a two-day, comprehensive training program to become Safe School Ambassadors.

January 18 2013 by Cassandra Garcia, KLAS-TV, News Now 8, Las Vegas

Conference aims to stem bullying, tragedies

CM Executive Director Rick Phillips addressed the National Safety Response Conference, held in Las Vegas, NV on January 16 - 18, 2013 on the topic of "Creating Safe Schools from the Inside-Out".

December 27 2012 by Nancy Sands Johnson, Northbay Biz - The North Bay Business Journal

Safe at School

Sebastopol-based nonprofit shows students how to create a culture of kindness at school.

December 11 2012

Rick Phillips interviewed on WCIU-TV Chicago

CM Executive Director Rick Phillips is interviewed by Melissa Forman on WCIU-TV about the Safe School Ambassadors program and our work with schools in the Chicago area.

November 23 2012 by Margarita Raycheva, Staff writer

Urbana Middle School program empowers students to stop bullying

Urbana Middle School program making a difference with ‘Safe School Ambassadors’