- Lisa Dixon-Wells, M.Ed., Founder and Executive Director
Activate the Caring Majority in Your School
Updated: Jul 11, 2022
Even if every teacher, administrator and staff member in your school is focused on preventing bullying behavior, you face a difficult challenge. There will always be comments you don’t hear and hallways encounters you don’t witness. The Dare to Care Bully Prevention and Life Skills Program is different because it transforms the “silent majority” of students and staff into a caring majority, empowered to prevent and deescalate incidents of bullying. It’s an approach designed to make every area of your school safe and welcoming for every student.
Ringleaders and followers are not the majority.
Those who display bullying behavior (the ringleaders) by definition feel no remorse for their brutal treatment of others. They often surround themselves with fellow students who seem to support their actions. In my experience, these followers don’t necessarily feel good about what they’re doing, but their need to fit in to a certain group often outweighs their moral compass. Beyond these two groups, ringleaders and their followers, is the majority, the approximately 79% of the school community who witness bullying but may not currently be speaking up or stepping in. We consider this “silent majority” to be an untapped resource in most schools.
Apathy is not the issue.
Some might say that the majority of students and adults are apathetic when it comes to bullying incidents, but I disagree. In my experience, this group doesn’t remain silent due to apathy or lack of compassion. Generally, these individuals remain silent due to fear of retaliation or fear of making the situation worse. The Dare to Care program gives the caring majority confidence that they can make a positive difference.
A shared understanding and six new life skills are the foundation for change.
The Dare to Care program engages the whole school community – a requirement for a true cultural shift. We begin by instilling a common definition of bullying and a common language around bullying behavior. Next, we teach students a toolbelt of six skills to deescalate and more effectively report incidents of bullying. In separate sessions, we teach parents how to recognize signs of bullying behavior and how to coach their child to ask for help in a way that won’t be mistaken for tattling. Finally, we help all school staff members understand what works, and what does not, in responding to bullying behavior.
For Grades K-6 we have developed a toolbelt of life skills, made memorable by the acronym "HA-HA-SO". These skills empower them in bullying situations when they are the target or when they see someone else being bullied. From asking for help, asserting themselves, and self-affirming self-talk, these skills can empower kids for a lifetime. For Grades 7-9, Dare to Care continues to build on what was learned in previous grades with an emphasis on repairing damaged relationships and building new, healthy ones.
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We still do in-person delivery of our program. Contact me at email@example.com with your request.