Dignity for All: Bullying Prevention

The Dignity For All (DFA) program intervention is a school wide approach to creating a culture and community that is safe, equitable, restorative and inclusive while exceeding ELA and Common Core State Standards. Through an interactive digital learning tool supported by our learning management system, students learn how to reduce and prevent bullying and cyberbullying behaviors by acquiring the skills to become an upstander instead of a bystander. An upstander is a person who speaks or acts in support of an individual or cause, particularly someone who intervenes on behalf of a person being attacked or bullied, ultimately creating environments that are safe, supportive, equitable and inclusive. 

The program model’s core goals are to instill knowledge, attitude, and behavior change, while the model’s key goals are to use critical thinking, storytelling, and experiential learning, such as role-playing, cinematography and digital games. The key goals supplement and differentiate the core goals and content of the DFA curriculum and program model by engaging students’ interest and imagination fully in the learning process with the aim of strengthening empathy, respect and a commitment to peacefully resolve conflicts through mediation and restorative circles. 

Rooted in neurobiology and attachment theory, teachers, students, administrators, school resource officers, para professionals and parents learn how to identify bullying dynamics and strengthen skills in empathy and reflection using storytelling, role-playing, and critical reflection. Trauma-informed practices are incorporated throughout and designed to shift mindsets within emotionally-attuned relational contexts, repairing harm and transforming how communities of learning consider and treat one another. DFA teaches learners how to become an upstander while capturing their progress through the learning management system. Our Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) curriculum is also available to DFA learners which focuses on personal growth and development ultimately equipping students to be strong leaders.

Dignity For All (DFA) is trauma informed, research and theory based program that focuses on preventing and reducing bullying and cyberbullying behaviors in schools and communities, while also delivering ELA and STEM-related content aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Through the online learning tool, facilitated discussion, small group dialog, and interactive activities, students, teachers, school personnel, law enforcement officers, and parents/guardians acquire new knowledge, change their mindsets and transform their behavior to prevent bullying behavior and violence in their school. The community develops strategies to repair harm and promote trusting relationships that turn adversity into empathy and compassion.

  • A three-volume Curriculum Guide for Instructors
  • Administrators Guide
  • Student Guide and Workbook
  • Parent Guidebook
  • Professional Development Sessions
  • Digital Tools

Our bullying prevention program is rooted in neuroscience that transforms whole-school communities through digital storytelling, reflection, and empathic relationships.

Neuroscience and the
Trauma-Informed Approach

Abuse, community violence, racial profiling, the pernicious effects of poverty, and many other forms of trauma affect children’s ability to succeed in school and communicate clearly their feelings and thoughts. Many of them are experiencing chronic stress activation, and a recent major epidemiological study demonstrated that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) such as these underlie many mental health problems including major depressive disorder.

DFA was co-developed by a team of trauma experts and incorporates the tenets of trauma informed care (TIC). Learners understand how internal factors influence individual behaviors by learning about the fundamentals of neuroscience and the brains regulation of human activities, and how external factors shape individual perceptions rooted in their lived experiences- abuse, community violence, racial profiling, economic status and other forms of trauma affect the brains ability to learn and communicate clearly their feelings and thoughts.

91

Schools across the country

+67%

Graduation rates

+26%

In attendance

+43%

In math & reading scores

For purchases please call 800-998-3212
or email us at info@urbantech.org​

DFA is a curriculum rooted in recent findings in neurobiology. The curriculum focuses on giving students and teachers the tools they need to build skills in reflection, empathy, and teamwork in order to create a safe and supportive learning environment for the entire school community. DFA uses Urban Tech’s ACID Test to remind students of the four characteristics of bullying: aggressive, continuous, imbalance in power, and deliberate. We want kids to feel free to tell their story and help shape a new generation of kinder, empathetic and civic-minded children.

Can You Relate? This empathy building activity will inspire students to relate to their feelings, beliefs, and attitudes of others as well as understand opposing perspectives.

How Do You See It? Students will replay a clip from the video and discuss key concepts about bullying with their peers and understand the role they play in their school community and at home.

Are You Hip To This? Students will progressively build their knowldge about bullying concepts by sharing their first-hand knowledge and lived experiences, reading what the experts say about the topic, analyzing roles and behaviors from the video clips, and then integrating the newly acquired information and analysis to build their knowledge, and re-examine their own attitudes and behaviors.

What Is Your Story Students will write their stories and experiences with guided prompts.

Are You Down With This? Students will test their knowledge gains in interactive games and collaborate in groups to practice their skills in critical reflection and evidence-based reasoning.

Will You Make A Difference? Students will set new norms and expectations to transform their school climate to prevent, reduce, or eliminate bullying in their school.

DFA’s teacher guides include in-depth descriptions of the research in neuroscience, restorative justice, and empathy upon which the curriculum is based. Urban Tech strives to give teachers the tools they need to coach their students on a personal level, deal effectively with emotions, and help develop positive responses to stressful situations. In this way we can help teachers and students raise self-awareness eradicate unconscious bias, and build skills in empathy and critical reflection.
In 2018, we implemented DFA into its first pilot school in Brooklyn, NY. At the start of the school year, 63% of students indicated that they had been teased, lied about or socially isolated. After completing the first phase of DFA, in only ten weeks’ time, reports of the same behavior had decreased to 29%. Overall victimization rates fell from 23% to 17.9%, a rate lower than the national bullying average for middle school students, and prevalence rates among female students dropped by nearly 50%. Download our latest evaluation below.

Take a look at what DFA has to offer your school

The Dignity for All program is supporting our goal to help develop students who are empathetic, collaborative and reflective contributors in their communities. We are learning what bullying is and how to distinguish it from other mean behavior by using the ACID test: Is it aggressive, is it continual, is there imbalance in power, and a deliberate intention to hurt another person. With this new knowledge and language, we are empowered to change our own attitudes and behavior and those of our students. We are doing our part to create a better world thanks to Urban Tech and its Dignity for All program which we hope can be brought to all schools in New York City.

Keisha Ramrattan

Teacher at MS 354 in Brooklyn, NY

Every day, 160,000 students skip school to avoid being bullied. Bullies and targets are both at increased risk of suicidal ideation. 25% of students are bullied each year and face long-term mental and physical health problems as a result, while students who bully are more likely than their peers to face academic challenges and suspension.

Every year, 70% of students witness bullying in their schools, and recent studies indicate that these bystanders suffer the same negative effects as bullied students. Importantly, studies show that as many as 59% of incidents can be prevented by teaching bystanders to recognize bullying when it occurs and to prevent and intervene in the bullying cycle using restorative practices that include the whole community.

For adolescents, practicing mindfulness and empathy is particularly important. Recent findings show that empathic, caring encounters with others not only light up the pleasure centers in the brain, but also facilitate the development of integrative fibers in the brain. That means that emotional attunement from another can make the entire brain work better.
Research has indicated that in schools where students perceive that adults care about them individually and are invested in their learning, the students are less likely to become either targets or aggressors of bullying. Moreover, when bullying is seen as a whole school issue and supportive connections are fostered among all school personnel, bullying behaviors have been reduced.

Dignity for All: Bullying Prevention Online Annual License

Teacher led web-based curriculum for both in-classroom and remote learning.
$ 500 Annually
  • One school license
  • Teacher and student accounts with Integrated Google Classroom sign-in possible
  • Teachers have online supervision of students’ activities with detailed reports
  • Dozens of interactive games and group activities
  • Online Competency Tests, Pre/Post Quizzes, and Self-Assessment Questionnaires
  • Online essay writing and submission
  • Access to future updates
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