I had the pleasure of sitting down with Andrew Zitoli, the principal of Millis middle school and founder of No Sticks and Stones () for a candid one on one interview regarding his Anti Bullying program and his highly successful youth Leadership curriculum.
Twelve years ago, Andrew Zitoli became the principle of Millis middle school at which time he began his campaign to “improving schools and youth from within”. He established that he was spending a majority of his time dealing with the emotional fallout from bullying incidents and found the need to “build leadership capacity in schools and youth organizations”. Hence, the creation of No Sticks and Stones.
For the past ten years Andrew and his partners Kevin Nee and Peter Sanchioni have been sharing and presenting their message on the national stage. Andrew was kind enough to share insight from their “Leadership Training” nights with the folks at read here Parent eSource.
Andrew opens every presentation with the ideal “Bullying is not a childhood rite of passage” and follows with startling statistics:
1. Less than 3% of the students who observed some form of bullying told a teacher. Adults only see 20% of bullying behavior.
2. The bystander rarely gets involved for fear of being the bully’s next victim. However, developmental studies of middle school aged children show that their capacity to empathize and understand the perspective of another increases at this age.
3. In grades 5-10 bullying type behavior peaks and 15% of children say they are regularly bullied by peers.
4. Canadian researchers Atlas and Peeler (1998) found that bystanders were present during 85% of bullying episodes, but intervened in only 11% of them.
Create a Leadership Team within your schools and youth organizations. Here are a few key points that Andrew is teaching his student body… the results are overwhelming.
1. Create an understanding of bullying and the effect it has on the victim.
2. Show them powerful stories and videos of how children and families are devastated by the effects of bullying.
3. Show them how they are the key and can produce amazing results when empowered.
4. Aid the victim, tell an adult, interrupt the cycle of bullying, be a role model
5. Have monthly meetings to discuss positive things the group has done.
Zitoli also states,“Another key component to making your Leadership team successful is teaching the students what empathy is…the ability to identify with and head soccer hack tool online understand another person’s feelings or difficulties”.
Andrew and his staff have found that the benefits of creating a leadership team are:
1. Clear communication with students.
2. Empowers a cadre of students to show courageous leadership.
3. Creates an extremely safe culture for teaching and learning.
4. Prevents extended periods of bullying.
5. Fosters courageous leadership throughout our building.
6. Sends leaders and mentors mobile strike hack ios to high school.
During my visit, I was deeply honored to meet seven students from the Millis Middle School Leadership Team. We had a chance to discuss their thoughts on Bullying and how the Leadership Team and their commitment to excellence have paved the way in making their school a better place and are making a difference in the student bodies lives.
Thank you to Principal Zitoli, the incredible staff and student body of Millis Middle School for having me out for a visit. Your making such an impact and changing the world! “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”, Margaret Mead.
For more information on No Sticks and Stones., please visit .
Andrew will be speaking in Brookline, MA on March 9th. I plan on attending and would love to meet you… for further details, please contact us