Thursday, April 24, 2008

BOOKSHELF: SAFE SCHOOL AMBASSADORS

Harnessing Student Power to Stop Bullying and Violence

A book that challenges the current thinking that keeping schools safe is accomplished primarily by heightened airport-like security, stricter policies, and zero tolerance. Instead, the book details an inside-out approach, focusing on the influence students have to change the social norms of their own school's culture. The book's Safe School Ambassadors program argues for a diverse and socially-influential group of student leaders with nonviolent communication and intervention skills that in turn, give youth the confidence and power to reject the code of silence and speak up to prevent, de-escalate, and stop hurtful incidents within their peer group, school, and community.

The authors, Rick Phillips, M.Ed., John Linney, M.A., and Chris Pack, B.S.E. have helped thousands of students to reduce bullying and violence, and build a more positive climate in their schools.

"Students hold the key," asserts Rick Phillips, Founder and Executive Director of Community Matters, an organization that works with youth and adults to harness the power of young people to prevent and stop bullying and violence. "Students see, hear, and know things adults don't and can intervene in ways adults can't. Equipping them as peacemakers addresses their needs for purpose and power, and empowers them to stop the cruelty they see around them."

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