New York City
Operation Respect partners with the New York City Department of Education, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL); the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN); and the Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility to provide “Respect for All” workshops to NYC educators. Since 2007, more than 2,000 staff members from elementary, middle, and high schools throughout NYC have participated in these anti-bullying workshops. 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 also offers professional development, school based intervention, and coaching services to schools throughout NYC on Don’t Laugh at Me implementation, school climate, social and emotional learning, and promoting respect for diversity.
Operation Respect partnered with the Center for Educational Technology and the Israeli Ministry of Education to provide training and implementation assistance to school counselors, teachers, and administrators in over 100 schools across Israel. At the end of the 2014-2015 school year, 63% of elementary school counselors in Israel reported using Don’t Laugh at Me, translated into Hebrew and Arabic, to teach social-emotional skills and address bias and youth violence spurred by the ongoing conflict there. In use in Israel since 2009, Don’t Laugh at Me was recommended by the Ministry to address the standards for weekly lessons in kindergarten – 12th grade for life skills and it was used more than any other recommended program.
In 2012, Operation Respect launched the Israeli Health and Education (H&E) initiative in partnership with the Chaim Sheba Medical Center and with the important endorsement of the Israeli Ministry of Education and the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv. The goal of this pilot project is to combine strategies employed by teachers and other educators with the strategies of health care workers, such as doctors, psychologists, social workers and psychiatrists to both prevent and respond to youth violence. Participating schools implemented Don’t Laugh at Me and worked with the experts from Sheba’s Messer Simulation Center to create video simulations of interventions for challenging situations. The simulations were inspired by real events and each school was also supported by direct coaching from medical professionals and hotline support.
In 2019, the Center for Educational Technology created Don’t Laugh at Me lessons for 1st and 2nd grade, developed distance learning opportunities for educators throughout Israel and, during the 2020-2021 school year, created digital units of activities in the curriculum, focused on anger management and empathy, that educators utilized during remote classes with their students.
In 2003, Operation Respect launched Don’t Laugh at Me (DLAM) in elementary and middle schools throughout Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Bureau of Education sponsored the launch and implementation of the program, which included the translation of the curriculum as well as a DVD that includes subtitles, professional development workshops and presentations and concerts by Peter Yarrow, designed to inspire and motivate educators to implement DLAM with enthusiasm. The program has met with great success in Hong Kong. Currently, the Hong Kong Bureau of Education partners with the Boys’ and Girls’ Club Association of Hong Kong and the Lee Hysan Foundation to provide DLAM workshops and program materials to schools throughout the country, and widely respected Hong Kong folksinger, Albert Au, recently translated and recorded the DLAM music in Mandarin Chinese to deepen and enhance the implementation of the program.
In the fall of 2010 Clark County (NV) School District engaged Operation Respect to deliver professional development workshops and to provide in school support for the implementation of Don’t Laugh at Me in the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada (the 5th largest school district in the country). The effort now reaches 30,000 students in 39 elementary, middle and high schools and reflects a partnership between Operation Respect, Welcoming Schools of the Human Rights Campaign, Teaching Tolerance, and the Clark County Nevada Public Education Foundation. This partnership reflects Operation Respect’s ongoing commitment to combine its efforts with those of other organizations, and other effective programs, focused on reducing bullying and promoting a positive school climate.
Operation Respect partners with our friends at the Foundation for Respect Ability in the Charlotte – Mecklenburg School District to create communities of Upstanders. The Foundation hosts Don’t Laugh at Me workshops with Operation Respect trainers and helps to support, promote, and celebrate DLAM program implementation in over 15 schools.