This week, Operation Respect would like to thank our long-time friends, Larry Dieringer and Tom Roderick, two great leaders in education who played a critical role in our early days and continue to inspire our work in the field today. Along with Operation Respect, they share a commitment to creating safe, caring and respectful environments of learning for children and youth.
In early 2000, Operation Respect partnered and worked closely with Larry and Tom, along with Linda Lantieri and Laura Parker Roerden, to develop the Don’t Laugh at Me curriculum. We are grateful for their input in the creation of the program and in the professional development model that we offer to support successful implementation in thousands of schools throughout the United States and internationally.
Larry also served on our Board of Directors for several years and played an important role in guiding policy at the inception of Operation Respect. He is a dedicated educator and professional development leader who has worked with schools throughout the country on social and emotional learning, advisory development and systemic reform. Larry has served, for over 20 years, as the Executive Director of Engaging Schools, a like-minded organization, which complements and builds on the work of Operation Respect, particularly in middle and high schools.
Tom serves as the Executive Director of the Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility, another ally and partner of Operation Respect. Our “Don’t Laugh at Me” Program is based on the pedagogy of Morningside’s Resolving Conflict Creatively Program and we have worked in partnership over the past 9 years delivering Respect for All (RFA) workshops to educators throughout New York City. Thousands of school staff from elementary, middle and high schools throughout the city have participated in RFA workshops, sponsored by the New York City Department of Education. The primary message conveyed through this initiative is that all students deserve a safe, supportive school environment, free of bullying and bias-based behavior, which goes to the heart of Operation Respect’s mission.
Operation Respect is grateful to Larry and Tom for their work in the field that extends the work of Operation Respect.
Thank you, Larry and Tom, for your leadership and dedication to engaging youth and helping them succeed, in school and beyond!