How we can stop school bullying through student empathy

Congratulations! This Entry has been selected as a winner.

How we can stop school bullying through student empathy

United StatesSan Francisco, United States
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

No Bully partners with schools to implement innovative and sustainable solutions to student bullying.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Student bullying is epidemic across industrialized nations worldwide, involving approximately 30% of students. It causes its targets physical, cognitive and emotional distress, marginalizes diverse youth and leads its targets to commit suicide and school shootings. Unless schools intervene promptly and effectively, the result is student disengagement and long-term mental health challenges, which impact school performance and impede students from ever reaching their lifetime potential. Students who habitually bully tend to engage in delinquency, alcohol abuse, anti-social behaviours and crimes in to their adult lives. Unchecked, bullying creates unsafe school environments and leads to greater violence in our communities.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

No Bully has developed a non-punitive response to bullying grounded in the new research on empathy that the vast majority of students, including those involved in bullying, demonstrate empathy and kindness towards their peers when their school creates conditions that support these behaviours. We train educators how to bring together a Solution Team® of students and leverage their empathy to end the bullying of one of their peers. The educator tells the team that they are not in trouble, describes how it feels to be in the target’s shoes and asks the team what they can do to resolve this situation. Solution Team is an applied lesson in empathy that gives students a direct experience of being an ally to a student who is suffering.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Last year we trained all the staff at Davidson Middle School in a common language around bullying. This is a mixed ethnicity school with a high Latino population. We then trained a group of core staff how to Solution Coach students entrenched in the role of bully or target, and how to run Solution Teams as needed. We coached one member of staff to be a Bullying Response Specialist through a three-day training of trainers hosted by No Bully. She now trains and sustain a core group of Solution Coaches at their school site, ready to run Solution Teams and Solution Coach students involved in bullying and harassment. Staff trained by us have run over thirty Solution Teams during the past year and have successfully resolved over ninety percent of incidents of bullying. Students run up to staff asking to be part of the next Solution Team. Targets are more willingly seeking adult help knowing that they wont get other students in trouble. Bullying students report that they felt good to be part of the solution instead of being stuck forever as the bully. Teachers report that the culture of the whole school is becoming more compassionate.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program is the most widespread program in the US. It asks schools for a yearlong commitment and trains schools to use escalating consequences in response to incidents of bullying. Safe Schools Ambassadors trains student leaders in nonviolent communication and intervention skills to stop bullying and violence among their peers. No Bully trains educators how to engage empathy.
About You
No Bully
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

No Bully

Organization Country

, CA, San Francisco

Country where this project is creating social impact

, CA

Your role in Education


The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with

Public (tuition-free)

How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

The information you provide here will be used to fill in any parts of your profile that have been left blank, such as interests, organization information, and website. No contact information will be made public. Please uncheck here if you do not want this to happen..

How long has your solution been in operation?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Now that you have thought out your entry, help us pitch it.
Define your company, program, service, or product in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]

No Bully helps schools to implement a Bullying Response System that leverages student empathy to stop the bullying of their peers.

Identify what is innovative about your solution in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]

It is grounded in research that the vast majority of students will demonstrate kindness when schools create the right conditions.

Social Impact
What has been the impact of your solution to date?

No Bully has trained educators at nearly two hundred California schools in Solution Team and so helped support bully-free campuses for an estimated 60,000 students. Dr Alyssa Steiger reported in her doctoral research study in 2010 that educators who were trained in Solution Team resolved student bullying in 80% of cases, and this held true three months later, making Solution Team one of the most effective strategies available for ending student bullying. In 2011 No Bully received a grant from the Lynx Foundation to train schools in all the major school districts in Marin County, California in its bullying response system. In an interim survey of participants in the Marin County trainings, 96% reported that they had very successful or somewhat successful in ending bullying.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

Our goal is to embed our Bullying Response System in 1,000 schools across the Western States by the end of 2015 and so train staff in providing solutions to bullying for estimated 30,000 students at these schools who are bullied each year. The project outcome each year is that 10,000 of these students will be the target of long-term bullying and that these schools will end the bullying for 80% of the students who agree to adult help.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

(1) Significant budget cuts cause schools to fund only essential academic services. We aim to secure third party funding where possible to provide training at low cost to schools. We will make the case to schools that the costs of not having Solution Team outweigh the costs of training.
(2) Shortage of school professional development days. Most schools provide only two paid professional development days and allocated these solely to academic instruction techniques. Solution: to make our training as easily integrated as possible and/or include the cost of releasing teachers and paying for substitute teachers within grant funding.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

By December 2012 we will have trained 60 additional schools in our Bullying Response System.

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

We will recruit and train six No Bully trainers to deliver our program across the western US.

Task 2

We will secure foundation and corporate sponsorship for $100,000

Task 3

We will retain a part-time development director.

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

By June 2013 we will have trained 150 additional schools in our Bullying Response System.

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

We will have raised $200,000 in development funding.

Task 2

We will have retained a communications and sales manager.

Task 3

We will have created an online training program for educators nationwide in how to run Solution Teams.

Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]

In 2007 I piloted a new approach to bullying that brought together teams of students to resolve the bullying of a peer. I had seen how counterproductive it was to threaten punishment so instead I let them know how it felt to be in the shoes of the target and told them they had been specially chosen as the Solution Team. After initial disbelief, the students suggested actions they could take and with my encouragement carried them out. Schools gave the intervention enthusiastic feedback: finally a remedy for an intractable problem. I trained others to run Solution Teams and soon we were getting e-mails and calls reporting almost universal success and saying that the atmosphere of the whole school was changing.

Tell us about your partnerships

We have partnered with WestEd, a leading US center for education, and applied to for a federal grant to test and develop Solution Team. No Bully will learn in Summer 2012 whether this application was accepted. In the meantime, No Bully will continue to submit applications with WestEd for additional research grants. We also partner with CommonSense Media and Soul Shoppe in delivering a one-day traveling roadshow on bullying.

What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section? [75 words]

The Executive Director is responsible for ensuring the overall achievement of No Bully’s mission and strategic objectives. The Office Manager will be responsible for co-coordinating all aspects of No Bully program delivery to schools. The Development Director will be responsible for proposing and executing No Bully annual development plan. The Communications and Sales Manager is responsible for establishing our online and in person messaging and enrolling school clients and securing partnerships.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

We are looking for individuals with strong business experience in launching products and services to guide our launch as an international solution to bullying.


Nicholas Carlisle's picture

Our goal is to bring our solution to bullying at zero cost to schools. $100K will fund a trainer in the field to do this. Contact us if you would like to make this happen.

Kris Herbst's picture

This sounds like a very effective program -- I like the way it engages form bullying students in solving the problem. What happens when bullying students attempt to exploit or disrupt the Solutions Team? How do bullied students feel about former bullies being "rewarded" as nascent problem solvers?

Nicholas Carlisle's picture

We train teachers how to deal with disruptive students so that they keep the solution team on task. Amazingly in over 80% of cases the solution team will stop the bullying of their peer. Students who were bullied often express relief at being part of the solution - finally they find a way out from the role of bully.

Bob Foster's picture

Really very useful tips for us...

Thanks for this outstanding post I really like this all totally a nice one.This is a really quality post.I find this information through Google Search engine. ffxi gil

I remember when I as a little child I was always bullied by a group of other kids. Why? Because I was fat. Bullying is terrible, it can destroy people life, it can affect the child's growing up. We must stop it at all costs.

Under Solution Team, a trained educator brings together a team of students and leverages their empathy to end the bullying of one of their peers. help with writing essays