CivilSchools™ is a comprehensive bullying prevention program that engages all the stakeholders in your educational community to transform culture and climate.
Aiming to move beyond an over-simplified focus on bullying, CivilSchools™ empowers educators, students, and parents with the critical tools necessary to build a culture of civility in which bullying is no longer a part of campus climate.
Utilizing parent engagement materials, Student UPstander Intervention Trainings, educator professional development, and a 25-week advisory curriculum, CivilSchools™ offers hands-on, preventative tools based on cutting-edge research to get beyond punitive measures and build a framework for preventing bullying before it starts and responding to bullying behavior in more effective ways.
What Makes CivilSchools™ Approach Unique?
Effectively building a culture of civility where bullying is no longer a problem requires engaging the entire school community. CivilSchools understands that bullying cannot be tackled with simple assemblies and handouts. Thus, we engage every stakeholder in your school community – educators, parents, and students – with action-oriented tools for addressing bullying and building more inclusive school culture. Plus, our programming is designed to be rolled out throughout the school year, ensuring that the task at hand stays top of mind within your community.
Unfortunately most approaches to the problem treat bullying as if it is some sort of general issue requiring general solutions. CivilSchools understands that, quite to the contrary, bullying tends to be rather specific, with particular student identities being targeted for mistreatment. Thus, our approach focuses on what we call identity-based bullying – targeting another person for regular, sustained violence, harassment, or neglect because of a particular aspect of that person’s identity. This approach empowers stakeholders to design interventions that meet the specific needs of your community.
Because bullying is predominantly identity-based, CivilSchools recognizes that the interventions that work for one community may not work for the next. Thus, we lead your community’s stakeholders through tried and true methods for designing school-specific interventions to meet the particular needs of your community.
Though punitive measures can surely play a role in the wider landscape of bullying response, they will never effectively work to prevent bullying or change culture and climate. Thus, CivilSchools empowers participants to design interventions that are proactive, preventive, measurable, and replicable so that they can get beyond simple punishment-oriented strategies and into the realm of culture transformation.
Ask any person what needs to be done in response to bullying, and they’re likely to mention something about supporting survivors, feeling empathy for those targeted. At CivilSchools, we offer all stakeholders insights into just how important it is to support those who’ve been targeted for bullying behavior.
Far less popular, though, is the prevention necessity of empathy for the person exhibiting bullying behavior. At CivilSchools, we understand that the majority of bullying behavior stems from insecurity, hurt, and mistreatment experienced by the person then committing bullying behavior. While punishments may be warranted, blaming and shaming “bullies” only leads to further bullying behavior. Thus, we encourage a holistic approach that will lead to a cessation of bullying, helping not only the survivor heal, but also the offender.
There are a myriad of approaches and philosophies geared toward responding to bullying, which is vital in any bullying-related program. CivilSchools goes beyond simple response tools, though, and empowers educators, students, and parents with insights and tools for preventing bullying before it starts. Most importantly, because CivilSchools is community-specific, our approach helps you craft preventative interventions that will meet the needs of your particular community!
The CivilSchools Team
Erin Frisby – Director of Business Management and Outreach
As a musician, teaching artist, and communications specialist, Erin cares deeply about providing access for all students to the means to explore their identities and creative natures in supportive and inspiring environments. Erin is a grant writer, strategic thinker, and programming professional with 8 years of experience in non-profit arts education in Chicago. As the Director of Business Management and Outreach, Erin brings a wealth of experience to serving clients while helping communities create the most inclusive school environments possible. Read More
Jamie Utt – Founder & Director of Education
For almost a decade, Jamie has been working with schools across the United States to transform school environments to be more inclusive, bullying-free spaces where every student can fully realize their potential. A former high school teacher and a bullying survivor, Jamie has dedicated his life to understanding the true nature of bullying and designing effective programming to eliminate bullying from our schools. Read More
Eric Thompson – Founder & Director of Leadership Development
For close to 20 years, Eric has helped corporate leaders, athletes, educators, students, and parents develop their character and grow their influence within the global economy. Eric works closely with his team at Global Ascension Productions to inspire and teach key influencers how to create conditions that increase performance and retention in both the classroom and in the workplace. Read More
Lisa Saldaña – CivilSchools Spanish Language Translator
As a skilled communicator, Lisa brings more than 30 years of experience to the CivilSchools team. She is a Certified Professional Medical Interpreter and educator who empowers monolingual Spanish-speaking parents to become more involved in shaping and supporting their children’s education. Incorporating her passion for building inclusive schools, Lisa co-translated our Bullying Prevention & Intervention Program for parents and speaks to parent groups about their role in ensuring all students feel safe and included. Read More
Olga González – CivilSchools Spanish Language Translator