Generations Against Bullying
Generations Against Bullying (GAB) provides a proven, comprehensive anti-bullying solution for schools. Our 12-month Upstander Peer Ambassador Program for High, Middle, and Elementary schools will enhance any anti-bully program you have in place.
GAB has chosen to address the problem of bullying in schools by way of a program that energizes students to step in and act when they witness a classmate being victimized. In the GAB program, this is known as becoming an Upstander. Encouraging and training students to take this sort of victim-supportive action is a procedure well-supported in the scientific literature, and its origins date back to the 1960’s.
Following the rather public murder of Kitty Genovese in 1964, social psychologists Bibb Latané and John Darley (1968) undertook a study to find out why none of her neighbors stepped in to help. Out of this study came the “bystander effect,” which holds that in an emergency, the presence of other people discourages any one individual from acting. The reasons for this have been debated, but the bystander effect has been replicated many times and is one of the most robust findings in social psychology.
Flash forward to today and the problem of bullying in schools. Is there a “bystander” problem? An important study found that peers were present in upwards of 85% of bullying incidents, yet those peers intervened only 10% of the time (Jeffrey, 2004). In some cases, peers have been found to actually play a role in the attack by either doing nothing at all or by reinforcing the bully (Espelage et al, 2007).
Why don’t peers step in and help?
Here are the two most replicated findings from the research:
• Students who observe bullying don’t know what to do (e.g., Coloroso, 2005; Rock & Baird, 2012)
• Students who observe bullying are frightened that they might get bullied themselves (e.g., Musher-Eizenman et al., 2004; Stevens et al, 2000; Unnever & Cornell, 2003)
The literature is clear on this point: These two impediments to positive peer involvement – ignorance and fear – will not disappear on their own. School personnel need to actively teach and support peer intervention in bullying. In fact, Espelage and colleagues demonstrated that an individual’s willingness to intervene in bullying situations was inversely related to the amount of peer-group bullying perpetration (Espelage, Green, & Polanin, 2011).
Will teaching students how to be an Upstander help?
It will, indeed! Observational research has found that when bystanders intervene on behalf of the victim, they successfully reduce victimization 50 to 85% of the time (Craig, Pepler, & Atlas, 2000; O’Connell et al., 1999).
To put an exclamation point on that, a published meta-analysis of bystander intervention efforts (a powerful study technique that combined 12 studies into1) concluded the following:
(T)his meta-analysis indicated that programs increased bystander intervention both on a practical and statistically significant level. These results suggest that researchers and school administrators should consider implementing programs that focus on bystander intervention behavior supplementary to bullying prevention programs (Polanin et al., 2012, p. 47).
The Bottom Line
Virtually all schools have some manner of bullying prevention program: It’s the law in Wisconsin. What the research says clearly is that teaching students how to step in and interrupt the bullying sequence when it is happening will significantly increase the effectiveness of any bullying prevention program.
The GAB Upstander program provides just that manner of student training.
For further information, please visit the website at gabnow.org or call (414) 241-2465
Words have stopping power.
If kids see someone being bullied, all they have to do is say something. Just getting involved in a nonthreatening way stops bullying in less than 10 seconds 85% of the time. That’s the difference between a bystander and an upstander.
In 2016 alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 5,400 bullycides, which is when a child commits suicide because they can’t stand the bullying. In fact, bullycide is one of the leading causes of death in children under 14 years old.
Have You Ever BEEN BULLIED?
If you were like many students and were bullied, you probably remember exactly how it feels. You probably remember your bully to this day.
What if someone would have stood up for you?
An upstander can literally mean the difference between life and death.
Today, bullying is more prevalent than ever. Over 50 percent of adolescents and teens have been bullied online, according to the i-SAFE Foundation. And the results are devastating.
To bring awareness about the prevalence and devastating effects of bullying in our communities, and inspire children and adults to be upstanders. Our goal is to promote and create upstander schools throughout the Nation.
Learn More About GABs Upstander Peer Ambassador Programs and Community Services
To educate our children and communities concerning the importance of the love, acceptance and cooperation needed to reduce the bullying epidemic. Using our unique, hands-on, proactive approach, in combination with our creative core programs and strategic partnerships, we will provide communities with the tools and resources necessary to promote a culture of upstanders to reduce the bullying epidemic.
If you’re passionate about our mission and want to help please contact us
Mrs. Charmaine Schaefer
“Generations Against Bullying simply opened up my daughters inner confidence allowing great strides
and growth to occur…
The opportunity for my child to work hand in hand with peers and adults who placed integrity and confidence at the forefront of all they did was simply God’s intervention! My daughter flourished as a young person maneuvering through the tumultuous teen years. GAB offered her opportunities to apply tenderness, empathy, listening and speaking skills, creativity and leadership. All of the lessons learned while she worked as a Peer Ambassador enabled her to go on to a challenging and successful journey at the University of Wisconsin Madison. She is a talented young person who now volunteers and gets involved with people and groups that are dedicated to the well- being of others. She has inner peace.
Thank you GAB for the journey she experienced and will continue to utilize throughout her entire life. The focus on a growth mindset with young people enables them to find their inner strength and then be able to share this virtue with others.”
“I don’t think there will ever be enough words to say or even express my feelings about GAB. But, when I started my own business I wanted to bring homes back to life…
by taking them all the way down to the core (frames) and making the home with all the great potential I saw in my eyes. When my fiancé started GAB, I saw her glow and feel like a revived person whose light was so bright and positive that I wanted to understand more about her passion. I was introduced to GAB and immediately fell in love. All I could think about is how they are constantly building people up and they also show people how beautiful they are inside and out. I then decided to partner up with GAB as being a Sponsor. I decided that I would use my hands and building techniques in some way beneficial for them. So I decided to build a lot of the children’s games for Events that GAB has and also be right alongside them every step of the way. Trying to help them like they helped my fiancé and I. I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity. And this is just the beginning…”
Upstander Peer Ambassador
Generations Against Bullying
“I want to show people, like children in schools, that being different is okay and that you should not bully someone who is different because there can be serious effects…
to it like suicide. I want to make a difference in the world and work to stop bullying.”
Upstander Peer Ambassador
Generations Against Bullying
In life I want to be a leader. As a leader I have to help and protect others that look up to me. That’s what I’m trying to do in GAB. I’m trying to save people from getting hurt or…
With Leadership comes responsibility and that’s a responsibility I have been ready to take on for a longtime. Now that I have GAB it gives me this opportunity that I was searching for. GAB has changed my life for the better and I truly hope it continues to change people’s lives for as long as it’s an organization.”
Upstander Peer Ambassador
Generations Against Bullying
I graduated on Sunday, June 11th, 2017 from Greendale High School. During my ceremony I was honored to be able to wear a student council stole and 3 honor cords that placed…
emphasis and awareness on the things I was involved in at Greendale High School. I wore a Teal cord that represented my involvement with Generations against Bullying (GAB). I wore that cord with pride because it represented to my classmates, friends and families that I was an “Upstander” and proud to be one. Although the information regarding what each colored cord stood for was written in our graduation program, I was still asked what each cord stood for. I would always explain my teal one first, “it means that I am an ‘Upstander,’ a peer ambassador who works with kids, teaching staff, and the community on solutions to putting an end to bullying.” I was honored to have had my hard work with GAB be recognized through the wearing of the teal cord so everyone will see. Now I will always be reminded of my goal to help end bullying everything time I think of my graduation day.”
When I started volunteering at Generations Against Bullying as the Graphic Designer; I had absolutely no idea that it would give me such great joy and happiness…
I was searching for a purpose in my life. All my life, I have always helped others in any way that I could, but this organization makes me feel complete and proud. The feeling I receive on a daily basis knowing that I am making a difference on not just my life but others as well, leaves me feeling great.
Being bullied my whole life and thinking back now, I wish GAB would have been around back in 2005 in my high school years.
Bullying kills about 13 million kids a year and I can only imagine that this number would have been way less if there were more organizations like GAB. Life is so precious and a gift. That is why I believe we call it the present. We are never guaranteed tomorrow and I continue to be an Upstander to many children and young adult.
Thank you, GAB, for allowing me to show my potential in my design skills but also allowing me to continue to be a part of your family.”
Not many people can locate the point in their life that turned them around and pushed them to be who they are today. I can. I know that without…
Generations Against Bullying (GAB) I wouldn’t even know how to find who I am today let alone become this person.
I joined GAB when it had first become an organization. I was at the end of my eighth grade year and fearful for what high school would bring me. I remember one of the times we met as a group, we discussed how there can be bullying within the home. Throughout the discussion, I couldn’t stop thinking about my alcoholic father. I had flashbacks to when I was younger: I would attend school and sit in class, fearful of what I would experience in the upcoming weekend. I knew I’d be on edge no matter what I chose to do. I was never allowed to be free of what my father thought was right whilst suffering his abuse.
Abuse that had me constantly worrying. Would I only eat 1-2 meals all weekend? Would I have to lock myself in the bathroom with my sister while running away from my father’s raised hand? Would I have to endure a few more words thrown my or my sister’s way about how we were failures, lazy, not smart enough, and terrible? Would I have to listen to him bash my mother, who I love dearly?
These worries turned to fear. Fear that caused me to be very withdrawn. I lacked the self-esteem and confidence to stand up to him and express my deep-rooted feelings that I no longer wanted to tolerate the abuse and that I needed to stop seeing him. At that moment I finally came to the realization that my father was a bully… my bully.
I realized that the only way to get myself out of the situation with him would be to upstand for myself. So that fall, I called my dad. Through tears, I identified all the things that he did to destroy my self-esteem, I explained that I couldn’t see him anymore, that he was the most negative part of my life and was preventing me from discovering myself. His reply was said with disgust, “I don’t know where this is coming from but if you’re going to be this rude I don’t ever want to see you again” and then he hung up. Not two minutes later he called back to simply ask when the next time we could meet was, forgetting about the extremely emotional confession I had just told him. At that point I grasped the reality that I will never know whether or not he truly listened to the words I told him, for I never did hear an apology.
Despite his lack of recognition that he was at fault, I was free from the bully in my life. I never would’ve been able to stand up and liberate myself from this bully if it hadn’t been for GAB holding my hand throughout that break. With this moment of clarity I was able to set out on a mission, one that included teaching others to become upstanders for themselves and for others. I realized that with this new frame of mind I wouldn’t only be able to help myself become a stronger person, but I’d have the opportunity to help many others do the same. GAB was the passage I was given to complete this mission.
The last four years have been a journey for both myself and GAB. It was difficult for people to accept that we could do something about bullying, a topic that was shoved under the rug because it was “just a thing everyone went through.” Throughout the bumpy journey I never lost sight of my quest to help others. I was left with a motivation to figure out the solution to treating this social knot. I had an epiphany, and determined that the solution was to grow confidence, courage, and a sense of efficacy within people, which would therefore build their resistance to bullies. I would work closely to Mrs. Linda Lee, GAB’s Executive Director, in order to ensure that by the time I left high school we’d have a solid club up and running within my high school, so that if ever necessary GAB would be there to help another as it had helped me.
My junior year we’d realized the importance that a message that came from the peers for the peers would be. Each and every month I, along with some of my peers that had been in GAB since the near beginning, would plan our GAB monthly meeting and activities for the Peer Ambassadors to do. We planned and presented these meetings around different types of bullying and upstanding, in hopes that our Peer Ambassadors, general members of GAB, would internalize our lessons. In hopes that they’d be able to use our suggested upstanding tips in their lives to upstand towards one of the various types of bullying that we’d covered. It is impossible to measure the impact that these lessons have had or will have in their lives because sometimes upstanding is so quick and subtle. This doesn’t erase it’s importance. It only emphasizes it. It emphasizes just how amazing it is that bullying can be stopped so quickly with the use of only a few words and some courage.
My passion with GAB’s mission continued to grow deeper as the years went by. I needed to help implement the message of upstanding within other schools. So when Mrs. Lee had offered for me to write up curriculum, I jumped on the opportunity. I created a thorough book that would represent the GAB program. In it I separated and walked through various types of bullying and how to approach these topics with a Peer Ambassador group. For each lesson I’d include suggestions for activities, videos, statistics, and what would be important to emphasize. There was also a section on how to elect a Peer Ambassador Board within their club, so that they too could have the peers creating and teaching the lessons to their members. Finally, I also developed a section that would help a Peer Ambassador group travel to the younger schools within their district, such as the middle and elementary, in order to get the younger students informed about how to approach bullying in a non-threatening and effective manner through upstanding. My thorough GAB curriculum could be presented to other schools, so that they too could gain a GAB program and help start spreading the lesson of upstanding to students across Wisconsin and potentially America.
We knew that having a large aspiration such as spreading our message to the nation would be difficult to achieve, but it never stopped us. We have continued to persevere through any obstruction that is in front of us. Yes, obstructions have delayed us from reaching the ultimate goal of making a change within the nation, but I know for a fact that it hasn’t nor will it ever prevent GAB from being heard.
I started in GAB as a shy girl who could never imagine helping lead something so powerful. Now, I’m the one who starts off conversations with people she’s never met. I’m the one who spends her free time volunteering, not twiddling her thumbs with nothing to do. I’m the one who isn’t afraid to go for a position that she thinks she’ll never get, rather than reminisce about what could’ve been. I’m the one who has grown to be a confident and selfless individual who couldn’t be more proud of herself. I’m the girl who has discovered herself and the life she wants to lead, and I wouldn’t be this person if it weren’t for this organization. Thank you GAB, for making me, me.
When Luke was in preschool he was bullied because he was different. Luke was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 6. From little on Luke has always had an extreme love for animals…
and at the age of 6 started volunteering for the Lakeshore Humane Society. He found a need and the animals accepted him for who he was. Luke socialized, walked, helped with fundraisers and fostered and adopted mostly special needs animals. Luke would stay up thru the night feeding animals without moms, help animals thru labor, and hold animals to keep them warm until they took their last breath to let them know someone loved them until the end. Luke was featured on a video and the front page of the paper when he was ten to talk about the shelter, animal adoption and his special connections to animals.
When Luke was in 5th grade a teacher told Luke in front of the whole class that he would never amount to anything in life to not even try and that he didn’t need breaks he wanted them to get out of class even though breaks were part of his IEP. Ultimately even after trying to work with the principal we felt it was best, even though Luke only had 6 months of that school left and his friends were there to transfer him to a new school where hopefully he would be accepted for who he was. Luke was accepted by the school and started gaining confidence. Kids accepted Luke for the person he was even though he was different. He became motivated to help others so that they didn’t have to feel the way he did.
Luke was 10 and found the Miracle league of the Lakeshore. Luke was inspired by others on the committee and started going out into the community to raise awareness. Within three years the committee as a whole raised over 450,000. The miracle league completed its fourth season and two years ago in June the all accessible playground went up. Luke has recruited players, buddies, and coaches. Luke has helped the ML with fundraisers, walked in the parade with the group to bring awareness, and helped with special needs trick or treat. Luke gained even more confidence and wanted everyone to “see the colors” of individuals like him and sang God Bless America at the Timber Rattler game twice and sang the national Anthem at opening day and ML games to promote the abilities of those with disabilities. Luke has thrown out the first pitch for the Milwaukee Brewers and was the water boy for the Green Bay packers. He put aside his social and sensory issues to promote the abilities of those with disabilities.
Luke found Generations Against Bullying (GAB) to be unique because it trains to put the power to stop bullying in the hands of kids. Luke believes that when others stand up to Bullying lives are saved and bullying is reduced. GAB has Peer Ambassador Upstander programs, brings movies and well known speakers into communities to help stop bullying and reduce suicides. Luke wants to create a safe place for all, a place where there is no fear of being bullied or judged, a world of full inclusion. Luke talks about acceptance, Autism awareness and bullying in his speeches and has stood up to bullying situations in his school and community. When Luke speaks individuals come up to Luke, us, and his principal and ask how they can start volunteering or how they can make a difference in someone’s life. Others tell him how inspired they are by him. Luke has even addressed his entire student body and received a standing ovation. Luke volunteers because he says that it feels good, that volunteering changes communities, that you make lifelong friendships when you volunteer, and that if people don’t help their communities/organizations they can fall apart. Luke jumps in wherever he is needed. He was once part of the YMCA leadership group, , helped clean up the park, did a book drive to help get books in the hands of kids in DC and Virginia, helps with Christmas in July week at the Miracle League field, rings bells and helps with the salvation army toy drive, raised money for the local K-9 unit, gave stuffed dogs to police officers to give to kids they encounter at Christmas and most recently he spends every day being the football manager for the Manitowoc Lincoln Ships football team and last year managed the 8th grade Chiefs team. Both teams has accepted Luke as one of the team given him jerseys, and even suited him up and run the last touchdown of the season. Luke can never give back to the teams that have given to him.
He has also alongside 3 other kids in our community started backpack buddies where they fill backpacks with essentials and fun things for foster kids in our community(They filled 80 this past September), help with the annual foster family picnic,(bring in food and material donations for door prizes) connect foster families to community activities(finding free events in the community like their partnership with our local YMCA) and help educate the community about foster care thru community talks and their face book page. Eventually they would like to start a grant wish fund for foster kids.(they have a small fund started but really are working to make this happen) . Luke maintains good grades (A’s and B’s) Luke is involved with a lot of sports within special Olympics for the past year. Luke has been recognized with many awards like the Helpful Hearts Award, youth award for WI Council of Administrators, Youngest Volunteer Wisconsin, Youth award for Green Bay volunteer center/WPS Awards, He has received the Prudential Community of Spirit award which he was awarded in Washington DC, the American Legion Good Deed Award, WI Hero Award, the Gold Presidential Award and the Generations Against Bullying Up stander hero Award, Gambler Hometown Hero, Yes I can award, Brewer Community Achiever and the Daily Point of Light Award , Business in Ethics Award by Foundations, Future Horizons Temple Grandin Award.and the JCI WI award. He has been featured on Fox 11 Making a Difference(fox11making a difference Luke smith) Luke is an inspiration to many he overcomes his challenges and puts his anxieties aside to raise awareness. Luke feels honored to receive these awards but he looks at it as an opportunity to get his word/work out further about acceptance, the organizations he works for, volunteering, Autism and Bullying. Luke says in his speech to not judge, be kind, be humble, everyone has a story and anyone can be the change. Luke hopes others will be inspired and pay it forward even if it is one small act like being nice to someone or accept someone looking left out or stand up to bullying.
Luke uses his lost his life to cancer. As we walked thru the cemetery looking at a place to make his final resting place Luke noticed all the veterans’ markers and the American Flags that were placed by the tombstones and asked his dad about when he was in the military. His dad was in the Army active and reserve for over 20 years as a drill sergeant. Luke then wanted to help veterans Luke was chosen to accept his uncle’s flag at the funeral because Luke was his god son. Luke had always had respect for veterans but now looked at it differently. Luke started helping people who are serving or who have already serve so far Luke has helped at benefit at a shooting range interacting with veterans, has sent out letters and went to businesses to bring in donations to help veterans win date nights thru the Green Bay Volunteer Center, handed out flags during the memorial Day parade and in the future at Christmas time would like to bring in donations and put together bags for veterans. Luke has also helped the local firefighters with a boot drive to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy because his dad is affected with this and most recently his mom was re-diagnosed with cancer and a pink tutu club was formed and Luke had no problem wearing his pink tutu out in public, at sporting functions to show his support for individuals affected with cancer, and participating in relay for life.
Luke’s business cards read;
Being humble means recognizing that we are not on this earth to see how important we can become but to see how much difference we can make in the lives of others
and I know Luke really believes in this quote because he knows everyone can be that change one small act at a time.
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