We've always known the Humanity Project approach to bullying works. A decade's worth of empirical testing shows us this. We hear positive reports from teachers, counselors and students at the schools we visit as well. From other data, we also know that our Humanity Club helps build a more respectful environment within schools. In today's parlance, the Humanity Project offers "emotional learning" to kids. These are the skills children need to become healthier, better adjusted human beings -- and also better students in the process.
So we were especially gratified to read about a new action plan created after the horrible shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which is located in Parkland, Florida not many miles from the Humanity Project. This plan was created by leading national experts on school violence. And it's now been endorsed by more than 200 universities, school districts, national mental health and education groups along with more than 2,300 individual experts in the field.
Here's one important part of their message: To stop school violence, don't arm teachers, buy more metal detectors, install bulletproof glass. Instead bring in more programs that help stop bullying and create a respectful educational environment for all students. In other words, do exactly what the Humanity Project already is doing. Quoting from a recent NPR story about this new action plan: Research by experts "has consistently found key factors that can make schools safer: cultivate social and emotional health, connect to community resources and respond, particularly, to troubled students. Why does this matter? Well, for one thing, the very kids who bring weapons to school are more likely to report being bullied or threatened themselves. They may be fearful of gang violence and feel a need to protect themselves on the way back and forth to school. Or, they may be individually ostracized and aggrieved. This is true not just in the United States." NPR quotes a co-author of the action plan as saying the same is true in "Kosovo, Canada, Chile, Israel, the kids who bring weapons to school are reporting tons of victimization."
By working with students to help their peers, by creating a school climate of respect for all, an appreciation of diversity and self-worth, the Humanity Project teaches children emotional skills that can help prevent future school violence ... and help kids grow into productive, healthy adults. We hope you will support our efforts.