Bullying Solutions book describes how adults can address bullying due to prejudice. Since being established in 1989, Kidpower has been addressing LGBTQ bullying and other violence - and has been helping families, organizations, and schools to do the same.

In our programs, we teach positive and effective skills such as how to: stay in charge of what you say and do no matter how you feel inside; notice and speak up about unsafe or disrespectful behavior;  de-escalate confrontations; use target denial to avoid potentially dangerous situations; advocate for yourself and others; persist in getting help when you have a problem; and use self-defense techniques in emergency situations." />

Excerpt: Bullying based on homophobia must be stopped! Kidpower is committed to working together to create cultures of caring, respect, and safety for everyone, everywhere. Our Bullying Solutions book describes how adults can address bullying due to prejudice. Since being established in 1989, Kidpower has been addressing LGBTQ bullying and other violence – and has been helping families, organizations, and schools to do the same.

In our programs, we teach positive and effective skills such as how to: stay in charge of what you say and do no matter how you feel inside; notice and speak up about unsafe or disrespectful behavior;  de-escalate confrontations; use target denial to avoid potentially dangerous situations; advocate for yourself and others; persist in getting help when you have a problem; and use self-defense techniques in emergency situations.


Bullying from homophobia must be stopped! Kidpower is committed to working together to create cultures of caring, respect, and safety for everyone, everywhere. Our Bullying Solutions book describes how adults can address bullying due to prejudice. 

According to Dan Savage, advice columnist celebrity and co-founder of the It Gets Better Project, even though 50% of bullying is about anti-gay issues, only 5 of the 67 bullying prevention programs represented at the 2010 White House Conference on Bullying had been addressing homophobia as a bullying issue. Thankfully, in the years since, this has been changing rapidly but too often more leeway is still given to teasing and bullying about sexual orientation and gender identity than most other issues.

Since being established in 1989, Kidpower has been addressing LGBTQ bullying and other violence – and has been helping families, organizations, and schools to do the same.

Many adults are not sure how to address bullying when the subject is about issues where people in their school or organization might disagree.  Within Kidpower, we give ourselves permission to agree to disagree about many beliefs – and focus on our common ground – safety. While individuals in our organization have potentially conflicting cultural, religious, and political beliefs, we are united in agreeing that all people deserve the information and skills to protect themselves from bullying in all of its forms, as well as knowing how to advocate for themselves and others, and that identity-related bullying is just as dangerous and wrong as other forms of bullying.

While we welcome people of all kinds, we do not welcome unsafe behavior of any kind.  On an organizational level, we manage this complex position by having an inclusion policy that contains the strong boundary in bold letters. This policy, as stated on our website in our values, is: Inclusive. We welcome people of any age, culture, religion, race, gender, political belief, nationality, sexual orientation or gender identity, marital status, any kind of disability, or level of income who share our commitment to integrity and safety for everyone and who can join us in upholding our values.

We teach workshops to thousands of children, teens and adults each year and are saddened by the pervasiveness of intense bullying at all ages and for a multitude of reasons. Too often, children and teens (and also adults) feel alone and isolated due to bullying or harassment. Too often, adults in positions of leadership allow prejudiced comments like, ‘That’s so gay!” because it is “just a joke.” Too often, without leadership from the top, people within a group  find it difficult to speak up against identity-related bullying because this is being treated as a socially-acceptable way of teasing or joking. And too often, children, teens, and adults are afraid of speaking up because they fear possible repercussions.

We also have the privilege of working with courageous individuals, families, schools, organizations, and communities, often holding widely different beliefs, that are taking an active stand each and every day to help combat bullying and create places of safety, caring, and respect for their members.

In our programs, we teach positive and effective skills such as how to: stay in charge of what you say and do no matter how you feel inside; notice and speak up about unsafe or disrespectful behavior;  de-escalate confrontations; use target denial to avoid potentially dangerous situations; advocate for yourself and others; persist in getting help when you have a problem; and use self-defense techniques in emergency situations.

We give students practice in different ways they can advocate for respect. For example, suppose you see someone teasing another person by making hurtful comments. Practices include how to:
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Kidpower Founder and Executive Irene van der Zande is a master at teaching safety through stories and practices and at inspiring others to do the same. Her child protection and personal safety expertise has been featured by USA Today, CNN, Today Moms, the LA Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Publications include: cartoon-illustrated Kidpower Safety Comics and Kidpower Teaching Books curriculum; Bullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe; the Relationship Safety Skills Handbook for Teens and Adults; Earliest Teachable Moment: Personal Safety for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers; and The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young People.

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