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Our History

Founded in 1999 by Peter Yarrow of the legendary folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, and Dr. Charlotte Frank, then Senior Vice President, Research and Development, McGraw-Hill Education, Operation Respect was first inspired by a private moment between father and daughter.

Our Mission

Operation Respect is a non-profit education and advocacy organization dedicated to advancing the social and emotional growth of children and youth to help them develop into compassionate, respectful, ethical, and civically engaged adults. Founded in 1999 by Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary, and Dr. Charlotte Frank, McGraw-Hill Education senior advisor, we disseminate our own classroom-based curriculum, the “Don’t Laugh at Me,” program, free of charge to schools worldwide. Operation Respect’s inspiring music, SEL curricula, multicultural videos and highly-regarded professional training provide adults with the tools they need to help children express their feelings constructively, resolve conflict peacefully, celebrate diversity, and engage with each other in a spirit of caring, compassion and cooperation.

Our Board and Staff

Leadership is making happen what you believe in. – Roland Barth Meet the people who make Operation Respect happen across the world.

Our Gratitude

The first theme of our Don’t Laugh at Me curriculum lessons is expressing feelings so we want to express one of ours – gratitude.  We all realize that what really matters in the work we have committed to since 2000 are the gifts of caring and being cared about, loving and being loved, giving and being given to by those we hold dear.

Our Annual Reports and 990s

Learn more about Operation Respect through our annual reports and financial documents.


Mary C. Kneese

3rd Grade Teacher - Burnet, Texas
I can already see a wonderful change in my classroom. My kids fell in love with the song and request that I play it almost every day. Whenever there is a conflict or problem in the room, someone usually says, “I think we need to listen to the song again!”…. so we do.

Nicholas Merchant-Bleiberg

Principal - Voyages Preparatory High School - Queens, Texas
We wanted support to set up a new high school advisory structure, and we got exactly what we needed from Operation Respect.


7th Grade Student - New York, New York
When I was in fourth grade, a girl in my class turned all of my friends against me. I felt like I was the only one with these problems. When Peter Yarrow came and did the “Don’t Laugh at Me” concert…I realized that... READ MORE

Myriam Darmoni Sharvit

Director of Democracy and Citizenship Education Center for Educational Technology - Tel Aviv, Israel
We highly recommend Operation Respect as an organization that understands how to take the research on social and emotional learning and offer support, material, and training for schools and school districts throughout the world.

Connie Cuttle

Retired Executive Director - New York City Department of Education - New York, New York
Operation Respect has made important contributions to hundreds of New York City public schools in ways which have made them safer and more caring places for all of our students.

Terrie Miller

Librarian - Omaha, Nebraska
I am amazed each time the video is watched, the impact it makes on the kids! The conversations generated around bullying and what to do when you see it has led to fewer student bystanders and more students actively stepping in to prevent the consequences of bullying.

Angela Barnard

School Counselor - New Tazewell, Tennessee
“Don’t Laugh at Me” is one of, if not the most valuable tool in my box for character development, critical thinking skills, social and emotional learning.

Ms. Iman Badir

Principal - Gan Eden Iban Rashid Elementary School - Kfar Kassem, Israel
This project reaches every pupil who sits behind a desk, in frustration, and thinks about revenge, now and in the future, revenge against the world that mocks, and does not accept him or her. This project heals the soul... READ MORE