Class of 2020
Billy the Bully
Buddy the Victim
K’Shelley the Bystander
“Peers who witness bullying may become fearful of being victimized and can be preoccupied with safeguarding their own status within the peer group.”
Students who have been both bullied and have bullied others have been identified as demonstrating the worst outcomes in terms of psychosocial adjustment, as compared to either group alone.”
— Kelly et al.
“Children who chronically bully others also are more likely to exhibit other forms of aggression and engage in delinquent and criminal offenses.”
— Renda, Vassallo, & Edwards; Ttofi et al.
“Children subjected to bullying experience compromised academic achievement.”
— Juvonen, Yueyan, & Espinoza
“Children subjected to bullying generally suffer high levels of depression and related internalizing problems such as social anxiety.”
– Reijntjes et al., 2010
“Children cannot get a quality education if they don’t first feel safe at school.”
– Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education
“160,000 kids per day do not attend school for fear of being bullied.”
-U.S. Dept. of Justice
In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Department of Education released the first federal uniform definition of bullying for research and surveillance. The core elements of the definition include: unwanted aggressive behavior; observed or perceived power imbalance; and repetition of behaviors or high likelihood of repetition.
The majority of bullying still takes place at school; 1 in 3 U.S. students say they have been bullied at school, according to the DHHS.
More than one third of adolescents reporting bullying report bias-based school bullying (Russell, Sinclair, Poteat, and Koenig, 2012).
81.9% of students who identify as LGBTQ were bullied in the last year based on their sexual orientation (National School Climate Survey, 2011).
64% of students enrolled in weight-loss programs reported experiencing weight-based victimization (Puhl, Peterson, and Luedicke, 2012).
70.6% of young people say they have seen bullying in their schools.
70.4% of school staff have seen bullying. 62% witnessed bullying two or more times in the last month and 41% witness bullying once a week or more.
64 percent of children who were bullied did not report it; only 36 percent reported the bullying (Petrosina, Guckenburg, DeVoe, and Hanson).
When bystanders intervene, bullying stops within 10 seconds 57% of the time.
School-based bullying prevention programs decrease bullying by up to 25% (McCallion and Feder).
Black McDonald’s Operators Association
Since 2016 Black McDonald’s Operators Association has teamed with Free Lunch Academy to present the Tolerance Is Greater Tour. Having recently completed its second regional run, this touring showcase travels throughout the greater Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana areas to provide thought provoking and change inspiring educational entertainment to school communities within the public, private and charter school networks. The ultimate goal of this partnership is to leverage social emotional artistic learnings in the form of live stage plays to help teach audience members of all ages the timeless principles and fundamental truths of the late great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Through drama, improv, role playing and more, students are taken on an unforgettable journey that helps them develop empathy, patience, understanding and tolerance for both themselves and their peers. To date the Tolerance Is Greater Tour has successfully Empowered Minds & Built Leaders in over thirty (30) school communities and sparked positive change in nearly 5,000 underserved youth and adolescents. #ToleranceTour
Based on survey data collected throughout the Tolerance Tour experience, the overwhelming majority of students (anonymously) reported having learned something new about the topic of bullying as a result of the performance. Also, many students felt as if the experience helped them gain a better understanding of the leading causes of bullying related behaviors and how they could help prevent similar situation from occurring going forward.
- 94.7% of students grades 3rd – 8th reported having learned something to empower them to combat bullying in the future.
- 89.5% of students reported a desire to use what they’ve learned to help better themselves and their peers going forward.
- 85% of students reported moderate to high levels of understanding as it relates to the consequences associated with uncorrected bullying related behaviors.
- 100% of students reported learnings in the areas of tolerance, understanding, mutual respect and genuine friendship building.
- Of nearly 80 respondents, nearly half reported identifying most closely with the character in the performance being victimized by bullying related behaviors while all students reported a desire to learn more about how to identify warning signs, being an up stander both on line and in school and bullying prevention best practices.
- Of 70 Faculty and/or staff members surveyed throughout tour duration (but prior to the actual performance itself), reports showed that nearly 80% felt as if their school community’s current bullying prevention services were not working sufficiently.
- Staff we surveyed also identified 6th graders as the group most susceptible to bullying related behavior with a tally of 28% with 8th grade finishing in a close second with a 25% report out rate.
- Lastly, verbal bullying was reported by staff as the most prevalent form bullying within their schools, with 83% of surveyed staff stating that they would be interested in addition follow up performance based services on topics surrounding the themes of conflict resolutions and bullying prevention strategies.
Upcoming Events & Shows
To Date Free Lunch Academy has partnered with over 200 Chicago Public Schools, Park Districts, Community Based Organizations, Faith Based Entities, National Brands and more to provide educational entertainment, social emotional artistic learning and creative employment opportunities to over 50,000 youth and young adults. Thank you for your support!
Mark your calendars for June 7th, 2018 as Free Lunch Academy is in partnership with Polished Pebbles presents:
#EarlyDismissal: A Fresh Celebration of Chicago Educators.
Combat Bullying Through Careers
Since the summer of 2015, Free Lunch Academy has offered inclusive, innovative, industry neutral workforce development programming services for youth, young adults and businesses who value creativity. Through education, training, mentorship and more, Free Lunch Academy combines emerging industry best practices, subject matter expertise and real world applications within the Creative Economy and well beyond. Free Lunch Academy has successfully partnered with One Summer Chicago, Illinois’ Department of Human Services (DHS) and most recently the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) to provide hundreds of at-risk youth with job, career and entrepreneurial skills and training centered around ethics, character development, leadership, purpose driven decision making and professional relationship building. Through this innovative approach to workforce development, Free Lunch Academy has established a high functioning network of employees, employers and up and coming entrepreneurs that posses a healthy blend of morals, empathy and collaboration towards common short and long term goals. To date, Free Lunch Academy Ambassadors boast a placement rating of over 95% with an 85% retention average after six months of employment. Free Lunch Academy’s network of businesses include small-medium through enterprise sized entities in the multimedia, entrainment, health and wellness, professional services, home improvement, manufacturing, logistics and hospitality industries. To witness Free Lunch Academy’s youth in action, please click on the video below and be sure to like, share and leave comments.