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home > bullyproof schools
Gracie Bullyproof School Transformation System   

Bullyproof Schools

The Gracie Bullyproof School Transformation System (STS) is a groundbreaking anti-bullying program that effectively reduces bullying in elementary and middle schools by making intervention the social norm and by balancing the power between bullies and victims.

“The Gracie Bullyproof program was exactly what we needed – a non-violent anti-bullying program
that involves everyone at home and at school. I highly recommend it to every school.”

-Kaiven Yeun (Principal, Towers Elementary School, Torrance, California)

A message from the founders:

Ryron and Rener Gracie – Founders of the
Gracie Bullyproof School Transformation System

Bullying is a problem that affects every school, and this pervasive problem remains unsolved largely because we are expecting the wrong people to solve it. When bullying becomes a serious issue on campus, everyone is quick to point fingers at teachers and school administrators, but the simple truth is that they can only do so much. Bullies are most aggressive when teachers aren’t present, and studies show that when a victim reports harassment to a teacher, the bullying may even get worse. Over three generations, we have used physical self-defense techniques to balance the power between victims and their bullies, and now we have developed a way to balance the power on a school-wide level without relying on a single martial arts technique.

The secret to the success of the Gracie Bullyproof School Transformation System is in altering the peer pressure dynamic. Aside from giving victims a support base that enables them to take a stand against bullies, the System effectively changes what is perceived as “cool” at the school. By creating a social climate which recognizes and rewards kids who step in and lend a helping hand when a peer is getting harassed, we make intervention the social norm at the school. In doing so, we effectively balance the power between bullies and victims which ultimately reduces, or eliminates, the possibility of harassment on campus. Bullying starts with the kids, and therefore, it must end with the kids!

The School Transformation System is broken-down into three phases:

Phase 1: Empower the Students
Phase 2: Educate the Parents
Phase 3: Establish the Bullyproof Task Force

To help you understand the power and the uniqueness of the Gracie Bullyproof School Transformation System, we provide you with a summary of the philosophy, integration strategies, and benefits for each of the three phases, below. Once you’ve had a chance to review the information, do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. The next school we “Bullyproof” could be yours!

-Ryron & Rener Gracie

Phase 1: Empower the Students
If bullying is prevalent on school campus, it is because the vast majority of kids allow it to happen. For example, in a school that has 500 students, let’s say there are about 10 kids who are the primary bullies and another 10 kids who are the primary victims – the kids who get picked on most aggressively and most often. This leaves us with 480 "observers" or bystanders in the middle.  It is our belief that these observers are the key to success, or failure, in the fight against bullying. If the bystanders accept the bullies’ behaviors as “cool,” sit on the sidelines laughing, and give the bullies the audience they’re yearning for, then the bullying will continue. But if we can convince all 480 observers that bullying isn’t cool, that no one deserves to be victimized, and that bullies should be held accountable for their actions, then harassment on campus will diminish remarkably. In the end, it’s quite simple; ten persistent bullies might be able to control and torment a handful of victims, but against 480 united students, they don’t stand a chance.

The Integration Plan
In order to empower the 480 bystanders to unite against bullying, we must first change the entire student body’s perception of bullying. To accomplish this, we conduct an ultra-inspiring 60-minute presentation called the “Power Talk,” in which we teach the kids what it means to keep it R.E.A.L. the Gracie way!

R – Respect everyone, regardless of their differences.
E – Educate the bullies about their wrongdoings.
A – Assist the victims, regardless of who they are.
L – Lead the way in the fight against bullying.

Click to watch a shortened version of the Gracie Bullyproof Power Talk

Interactive and Engaging
To say this 60-minute presentation is highly engaging is an understatement! We use realistic skits to illustrate the principles discussed, we use audience involvement to nail down key points, we give away tons of prizes to the students who volunteer, and we even get all the kids on their feet chanting the “Keep it R.E.A.L.” mantra.  The bottom line is, in order for someone to make change, they need to be motivated, and that is what we accomplish in the Power Talk. We connect with the students so well that they want to follow our lead, and when we tell them that bullying is NOT cool, they listen, they unite, and they act.


Phase 2: Educate the Parents
Based on our generations of experience, we believe that bullies and victims are created, not born. If a child has a tendency to bully others, chances are they have a history of being bullied by friends or family members. If a child has a tendency of allowing others to harass them, chances are they’ve been influenced by a close friend or family member who has the same tendencies. Based on this, we believe that parents play a vital role in the equation and that the “bullyproofing” process, for both bullies and victims, begins at home.

The Integration Plan
Every parent wants to help their child effectively deal with bullying, but most don’t know how. After we conduct the Power Talk for the kids, we return that evening for the Parent Talk. During this 90-minute seminar, for adults only, we teach the parents the most important things that must be done on a regular basis to “bullyproof” their children from home. Discussion topics will include:

  • How to establish open communication about bullying
  • How to determine if your child is being victimized by bullies
  • What to do if your child is the bully
  • What to do if you discover your child is getting bullied
  • How to teach your child to deal with persistent bullies
  • The extra steps you can take to deal with cyber-bullying

The seminar is held in a casual setting, and parents are encouraged to ask questions. Empowered with a step-by-step plan, parents leave this seminar feeling optimistic about their ability to play an active role in preparing their child to deal with bullying.


Phase 3: Establish the Bullyproof Task Force
The reason nearly all school-based anti-bullying programs don’t work is because they rely too heavily on the teachers and school administrators, when the reality is, they can only do so much. The bottom line is: bullying starts with the kids, and therefore it must end with the kids. 

The Integration Plan
The third and final phase of the Gracie Bullyproof School Transformation System consists of the establishment of the Bullyproof Task Force – a group of volunteer students fully dedicated to preventing bullying on campus by balancing the power between bullies and victims. The effectiveness of the Task Force rests entirely on the practice and perpetuation of one vital choice: intervention.

Capitalizing on the enthusiasm sparked from the Power Talk, we invite all kids of all grade levels to join this special club dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of the Gracie Bullyproof anti-bullying principles on campus. A designated teacher or school administrator will be trained to serve as the Director of the Task Force. Under the guidance of the Director, the Task Force members will meet monthly to discuss bullying incidences on campus as well as key intervention strategies.

In order to join the Force each student must make the following pledge:

  1. I promise to respect everyone, regardless of our differences.
  2. I promise to educate the bullies about their wrongdoings.
  3. I promise to assist the victims, regardless of who they are.
  4. I promise to lead the way in the fight against bullying.

Rank and Recognition
In order to encourage children to take a stand against bullying to make intervention the social norm within the school, we have come up with an innovative way to recognize and reward students for doing the right thing. Invoking the way belts are used to indicate progress in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, members of the Task Force will earn different colored wristbands based on their commitment to preventing bullying on campus. All Task Force members will start off with white wristbands, however, with enough interventions, they will advance to blue, purple, brown, and then the coveted black wristband.

Why it Works
Children need positive reinforcement. Praise from their peers, and consistent recognition each time they intervene and help a victim, not only actively encourages intervention, but makes it the new norm on campus. Rather than sitting back, or laughing from the sidelines, kids will have the intrinsic motivation to lend a helping hand. Each time a Task Force member intervenes he/she is enhancing the power of the victim and reducing the power of the bully. In addition, as the Task Force continues to grow and the bullies see how active the members are in regards to stepping in and neutralizing any harassment that takes place on campus, they will think twice before targeting their victims. As a result, once the Task Force is in place, it’s only a matter of time before all power imbalances are resolved and the bullying comes to an end.  

Benefits of the Gracie Bullyproof STS
Here are some of the key benefits that have been reported by schools that have implemented the Gracie Bullyproof School Transformation System:

  • Reduces the existing bullying problems amongst students
  • Prevents the development of new bullying problems
  • Gives victims a support base and feeling of empowerment
  • Promotes better peer relations at school
  • Creates a safer, more effective learning environment
  • Reduces parent concerns and complaints about bullying


Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Does the School Transformation System include the teaching of physical self-defense techniques?
    No. Although the Gracie Family is world famous for developing the most comprehensive home-based self-defense program for kids, they realized that in order for a program to be effective for widespread use on school campuses throughout the nation, that it couldn’t be reliant on any self-defense techniques.
  2. How sustainable is the program?
    While most school-based anti-bullying programs start strong and then quickly lose steam over time, the Gracie Bullyproof School Transformation System is designed to build momentum as time goes on.  By establishing the Bullyproof Task Force on campus, the program essentially acquires a “life of its own.” Because of the “coolness” factor of joining the team of students who are responsible for “policing” the bullying that takes place on campus, more and more kids will join as time goes on, until eventually, the majority of kids, if not all, on campus are part of the Force!
  3. At what grades is the program most effective?
    The Gracie Bullyproof STS was designed for elementary and middle schools, since that is where bullying is most prevalent and that is where kids learn the behaviors and social skills that they will take into high school. We’ve found that the best way to initiate change in a high school is to start by “bullyproofing” the elementary and middle schools that feed into it.


Funding
Obtaining funding for a bullying prevention program is often a key concern for schools and other institutions. Fortunately, many organizations offer financial assistance in the forms of grants and donations.

Schools that implement violence prevention programs have sought funding from many different organizations, including these sources:

  • County government discretionary funds
  • Governor's special council funds for child abuse prevention
  • Mental health funds
  • District and school safety funds
  • School enhancement dollars
  • Mayor's office or municipal government
  • Police departments
  • Violence prevention organizations
  • Medical clinics
  • Neighborhood Watch groups
  • Parent-teacher associations
  • Banking institutions
  • Faith-based institutions
  • Private foundations
  • Hospitals
  • Libraries
  • Local Rotary Clubs

Contact Us Today
For more information on pricing and scheduling of the Gracie Bullyproof School Transformation System at your school, please send an email inquiry to support@GracieKids.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

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