#Day1 is not a silver bullet that will stop bullying on its own, but we believe action is better than waiting…especially when so many people need help. The program is new, but we are already hearing great things from the schools and organizations that have signed on.

#Day1 was born from testimonials of frontline teachers working to find solutions to the issue of bullying. Teachers have told us that early, clear leadership on bullying is free, simple and effective. We are taking that idea to scale and improving on it. People are ready to take an early and pro-active stand against bullying. We cannot wait for policies or attitudes to change. We can’t wait for new curriculum or longitudinal studies to come out to do something about bullying. We must act now on #Day1.

This program is free, fast and simple so there is nothing to lose! What are you waiting for?!

Check out this video and see #Day1 in action!

Dorothy Espelage, Professor of Education

Dr. Dorothy Espelage

one of the top anti-bullying researchers in the world, has endorsed #Day1

“As a researcher that has spent 22 years of my career trying to understand and reduce bullying among youth, I have learned that a critical component of any school initiative to stop bullying has to include a transparent and direct statement from teachers, staff, and administrators. Students pay attention to what adults do and say; students want to co-create a safe climate with those who reside in the school. In my research, when staff have a clear statement and focus on creating a positive school climate, students bully less and intervene more to help their peers (Espelage, Polanin, & Low, 2014). The Tyler Clementi Foundation “#Day1” campaign is exactly what every school should do to get all of the school members to commit to promoting a positive school climate that is respectful and free from negative interactions and behaviors. Only then can youth and adults in the buildings strive and thrive. If every school in the US would commit to participate fully in “#Day1″, then I would consider this a major accomplishment and I would feel that I could retire!” – Dr. Dorothy Espelage, University of Illinois, Champaign

Research-based assumptions of #Day1 Intervention effectiveness

  • Leadership matters: Research shows that tone and climate are set by leadership. We can create change by demonstrating a commitment to values and behavior change at the top. If teachers, principals, managers, coaches and others in authority stand by their convictions, they can reduce bullying by modeling good behavior.
  • Stating expectations: We believe that verbally stating your opposition to bullying is better than assuming it is understood and far more effective than just having a policy, code of conduct, or employment manual that few, if any, will read. Say it. Share it. Set the tone!11,12
  • Specificity: Clarity matters. Being explicit when giving instructions is far more effective than broad statements about respect, diversity and kindness. There can be no confusion about what behavior is unacceptable and #Day1 specifically draws attention to some of the most damaging behaviors. 10,13
  • Explain the path to do good: “Thou shall not” statements need to be balanced with a clear vision of behavior expectations or “Thou shall” statements. Youth who bully may be more prone to violence and aggression as they get older. Telling people how they should behave in certain situations helps people treat others better. In order to counter the bystander effect (individuals or groups not reacting to witnessed bullying) #Day1 asks people to intervene, interrupt or report abuse. 2,6,8,15
  • Prevention works: Prevention is essential. There is a problem of ignoring bullying, dismissing it, minimizing it, or waiting to react until it happens. That’s too late. We give instructions to workers and students before we put them to work for a reason. Early instruction sets up classrooms, workplaces, and teams for success. 1
  • Getting Confirmation: Teachers, trainers, and caregivers know that a better way to ensure retention of instructions is to get confirmation that they have been heard and understood.
  • Remediation: When Leaders read the #Day1 Declaration, it’s important to state that bullying is unacceptable. The Tyler Clementi Foundation does not support Zero Tolerance policies but we do believe in consequences for bullying. Whatever system of remediation you use, consequences need to be fairly and consistently enforced (especially in schools). 4,7,9
  • Safe adult: For youth (and for some adults), having a trusted person to talk to can be a lifesaver. We believe that #Day1 will signal to some youth who are suffering in silence that there are adults who care about them – especially minority youth.3,5
  • Focus on the problem: #Day1 makes a point of being specific about certain bullying motivations that sometimes go unaddressed (weight, anti-LGBT). We also mention behavior that might be different for girls and for boys.

  • Prevention of Bullying in Schools, Colleges and Universities, produced by the American Educational Research Association. (p. 38) A best practice is to “Engage in prevention efforts that range from on-the spot teaching with students who engage in teasing or bullying behavior to formal school-wide programs.
  • Robert Farris and Diane Felmlee, Status Struggles: Network centrality and Gender Segregation in Same and Cross-Gender Aggression. (p. 21) “Interventions may have a better chance of success if bystanders scorn aggression instead of being impressed or entertained by it.” Our Upstander pledge encourages young people to intervene or report abuse but also to reach out to bullied youth.
  • Robert Farris, Casualties of Social Combat: Social Networks and Victims of School Aggression. American Sociological Review. (p. 2) “Victims of school-based aggression tend to be socially isolated, and such a lack of connections increases risk.” Day 1 attempts to throw a life preserver to youth who may be too afraid to mention that they are being bullied or why they are being bullied. We encourage Upstander behavior to reach out to youth instead of just ignoring the abuse.
  • Denise Gottfredson, Building Capacity to Reduce Bullying and Its Impact on Youth across the Lifecourse. It is vital to have “Consistent discipline management that supports school norms.”
  • Ibid “Meaningful relationships between students and adults in a school can reduce victimization.” Day 1 is trying to connect school professionals who want to be leaders directly, through leadership, to targeted youth. Reading the declaration demonstrates they are leaders a youth can begin a trusting relationship with.
  • P.J. Cook, Denise Gottfredson, and C. Na, School Crime Control and Prevention. (p. 5) This report discusses that effective interventions are those that teach self-control. Day 1 does not use “cognitive-behavioral” methods but we do stress to individuals that self-control is an expected behavior. Many other blanket “tolerance” statements do not stress this.
  • Ibid (p.5) “Schools in which rules are clearly stated, are fair, and are consistently enforced, and in which students have participated in establishing mechanisms for reducing misbehavior, experience less disorder.” Stating and enforcing consequences fairly matters. We encourage schools to do so.
  • Ibid (p. 24) “…peer reinforcement of deviant behavior may be particularly potent in school contexts that fail to reinforce non-deviant behavior.” Day 1 stresses Upstander behavior; to not go along with bullying.
  • Ibid (p. 27) To reduce school crime it is important to increase “informal controls (e.g. increasing emotional attachments, investments in goals inconsistent with engaging in crime, and beliefs about right and wrong behavior).”
  • Ibid (p. 60) “Among the most effective school-based strategies for reducing youth violence, aggression and problem behavior are behavioral interventions that target specific behaviors, systematically remove rewards for undesirable behavior, and apply contingent rewards for desired behavior or punishment for un-desired behavior.” Day 1 is rooted in specificity. The more specific you are the better results you will see.
  • Ibid (p 67) Numerous studies have shown that when you try to clarify norms for youth, it can be effective at reducing violence.
  • Ibid (p. 76) Lower levels of problem behaviors should be expected when schools effectively communicate clear expectations and establish and maintain rules.
  • Prevention of Bullying in Schools, Colleges and Universities, produced by the American Educational Research Association. (p.15) “Research on bullying dynamics shows that bullying is often aimed at specific groups. Findings from three groups have become prominent in the research literature: children with disabilities, African American youth, and LGBTQ youth.”


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