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Jodee Blanco    

Bullying Expert & Activist; Author of "Please Stop Laughing at Me"

Survivor, expert and activist Jodee Blanco is one of the country’s most trusted voices on the subject of bullying. She is the author of The New York Times bestselling memoir, Please Stop Laughing At Me . . . One Woman’s Inspirational Story that established her as the first voice of the anti-bullying movement. A chronicle of her painful school years, the book was a cultural catalyst and helped victims of all ages reclaim their lives and dignity.

Blanco’s essential work as a school bullying survivor revisiting the issue through an adult lens has been recognized by The National Crime Prevention Council, The Department of Health & Human Services, the National Association of Youth Courts, Special Olympics, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and state and local entities from Governors’ offices, PTA’s and law enforcement to school safety coalitions, mental health groups, and drug prevention programs.

Her award winning sequel, Please Stop Laughing at Us… was written in response to the demand for more information from her core audience-schools, parents and other Adult Survivors of Peer Abuse like herself, who have come to know Blanco as the champion of their cause. It provides advice and solutions set against the backdrop of her dramatic personal and professional journey as someone who unexpectedly finds herself the spokesperson for what would become a movement. Blanco released a companion journal to the Please Stop Laughing at Me… series and a third installment, entitled Bullied Kids Speak Out, inspired by true stories of kids she’s met while working on the frontlines.

Blanco has presented her message of hope and resiliency to thousands of people nationwide and implemented her anti-bullying program It’s NOT Just Joking Around!™ in hundreds of schools. She focuses on the human element of bullying, incorporating the matrix of students, educators and parents into each aspect of her program, and offers a realistic, practical plan of action for saving lives. No matter where Blanco goes, people open up to her because they see in her a kindred spirit, someone who’s willing to crawl down inside the hole where they’re trapped and guide them out the same way she did for herself.

Organizations that have brought Blanco in to keynote events include The United States Department of Interior, United States Department of Justice, The National Catholic Educational Association, The American School Counselor’s Association, The Washington School Counselor’s Association, Kentucky Association of School Administrators, The Illinois Association of School Boards, and numerous universities. Because of her emphasis on compassion, many dioceses also turn to her for Professional Development for their school leaders and bullying prevention in their classrooms.

On the international front, Curacao, Guam, Guatemala, Trinidad/Tobego, and the Aboriginal schools of Canada have all flown Blanco in to speak and implement her program in their countries and she has been published in several languages including Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, and Danish. In addition to her anti-bullying work, Blanco is a crisis management and communications consultant for schools and frequent expert guest on national broadcast and cable television. She has bylined for (front page), The Huffington Post, and her story has been featured on CBS Evening News, in USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, and many other outlets.

A tireless advocate for the shunned and forgotten, Blanco’s rare understanding of why kids abuse other kids comes from a deep personal place. From fifth grade through the end of high school, she was rejected and tormented by her peers simply for being different and knows first-hand the long-term consequences. As an adult, she decided to go public with her story and turn her pain into purpose.
One of the most sought-after keynote/motivational speakers and seminar presenters, Blanco is redefining the scope of possibilities for curbing suffering in our schools, corporations, and communities worldwide.
In addition to the Please Stop Laughing at Me series, Blanco has written numerous books for educators. Non-bullying related works that she’s authored include: The Evolving Woman which was presented an award by then Senator and current President Joe Biden for its contribution to domestic violence awareness; the New York Times bestselling book Both of Us about Ryan O’Neal and Farrah Fawcett that she co-wrote with O’Neal, and her first sojourn into fiction, I, John Kennedy Toole, a New York Times “New and Noteworthy” selection.

Prior to her anti-bullying work, she owned an international PR firm that specialized in handling high-visibility individuals, often considered “bullies or challenging” that other firms wouldn’t take, many of whom were fraught Hollywood celebrities. She taught them the power of dignity, humility and grace in communication, changing not only how they interact with others, but how others respond to them.

Speech Topics

It's NOT Just Joking Around! Understanding School Bullying Through the Eyes of a Former Victim

Jodee Blanco, author of the New York Times best-selling memoir Please Stop Laughing at Me... and an award-winning series of books on bullying, will bring your audience inside the heart and mind of the bullied child, and let them see the world through their compelling point of view. As the nation’s only survivor turned activist/expert, she will also share some of her most unforgettable experiences working deep inside the trenches of America's schools. This keynote is intense, inspirational and cuts to the core of what it means to be a bullied child through the perspective of only someone who was bullied herself and who holds hundreds of bullied students in her arms every day as they pour their hearts out to her, can understand.

Jodee has performed this keynote for a cumulative audience of over a half-million people worldwide and it has been the focus of a USA Today lead story, a CBS Evening News exclusive, among many others.

Triage for the Bullied Through a Survivor’s Eyes

Bullying survivor, activist and author of the New York Times bestseller Please Stop Laughing At Me… will share with your audience what you should never say to a bullied child and why; what you should say and do; how the bully and the victim are flipsides of the same coin and how to identify and assist both; the two types of bullying; the two types of popular students; the typical profile of the bullied child; how to intervene with a bullied child one-on-one; how to intervene with a group; why traditional punishment doesn’t always work and how to discipline with compassion; how to deal with the parents of bullies and/or victims; how to spot the warning signs a victim may be suicidal or contemplating revenge; where to turn for support; and other vital information.

She will also reveal: the worst mistakes the adults in her life made and what she wishes they would have done different; the most common complaints she hears from bullied students today, and what they want their teachers and parents to know but don’t have the courage to tell them.
Jodee’s entire focus from start to finish will be to touch hearts, open minds, and most importantly, give hope.

When Parents Bully (School Keynote/Workshop)

If you’ve ever had to deal with an over-bearing or difficult parent, this workshop will help you work effectively and efficiently together. Jodee provides specific strategies on how to handle the irate, unreasonable parent who storms into the office, frustrated and unwilling to listen, and begins bullying the school. If you're a teacher, counselor or principal, you know firsthand how difficult it can be to calm that parent down and get them to listen and behave like an adult. How do you communicate with the irrational parent, motivate him/her to work with the school in everyone's best interests? What shouldn't you say to an angry, bullying parent and why, and what should you say and do? What are the three tenants of credibility in communication and how do you apply those tenants to successfully win over even the most stubborn, challenging parent, inspire understanding, and most importantly, collaborate on viable solutions that you implement successfully together? Jodee shows audience members how to transform a tense situation with a parent into an opportunity to forge a productive, rewarding partnership that enriches the school, the student, and the student's family.

Fitting In at College How to Lose the Desperation and Attract the Acceptance You Deserve

Scared you may not fit in at college? Were you bullied or left out by the cool crowd in high school and afraid the same thing will happen again? Perhaps you were popular and you’re dreading starting over. Are you feeling lost or invisible at the dorm?

No matter what your circumstance, college doesn't have to feel like a personality test. No one is going to judge you on who you were. Your classmates want to know who you are. College can be four of the most exciting years of your life, or you can allow your past to hold you hostage.

Bullying survivor, activist, and the author of The New York Times bestselling memoir Please Stop Laughing At Me…, now brings her proven survival strategies to university campuses nationwide. She will talk about: the typical mistakes most undergrads make when trying to fit in, and how to avoid them; what to do if the harder you try, the more alone you are; and how to recognize and eliminate common stumbling blocks to social acceptance in college and forge lasting friendships.

You Have No Right to Treat Me That Way! How to Conquer Adult Bullies at Work and in Life

Every morning, thousands of people dread getting up in the morning for the same reason so many kids dread going to school--they can’t take how they’re being treated. Whether it’s the belittled corporate employee, the under-appreciated middle manager, the excluded PTA mom, or the lonely church volunteer, adults get bullied too. Bullying survivor, expert, and the author of the New York Times bestseller, Please Stop Laughing At Me…, who travels the nation’s schools sharing her story to save lives, now brings her proven bullying survival and prevention strategies to adults. She will talk about: her own personal and professional struggle as an Adult Survivor of Peer and Workplace Abuse; the different types of adult bullies and how to identify the ones in your life; how to stand up to adult bullies; what to do when the bully is a family member; how to turn bullies into allies; among other techniques for thriving in impossible situations.

How to Deal with Difficult People without Losing Your Cool or Your Compassion—A Keynote “Course” for School Leaders and HR Professionals in Education

If you’ve ever had to deal with a difficult person, whether it’s an employee in your charge, a colleague, or a superior, this keynote will help you understand from a fresh, new perspective, why they’re behaving as they are, how to get through to them successfully and navigate with grace whatever is causing the problem. You’ll learn how to identify patterns in your own behavior when interacting with someone difficult, that may be making things worse, and how to self-correct in the moment, utilizing compassion-centric techniques inspired by core values and common sense.

Jodee will give you the tools to establish clarity of communication with anyone no matter how trying he or she may be, disarm defensiveness, and engage empathy and understanding. She will teach audience members the importance of leading with truth and compassion, and provide advice on how to gently but firmly refocus the irate, unreasonable, or uncooperative person and elevate the atmosphere from one of animosity to growth

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Difficult People—The Master Class on Understanding, Communicating and Managing Even the Most Challenging Person

Anyone in HR or leadership knows firsthand how exhausting it can be working with a difficult person. How do you talk to someone who’s resentful or closed-minded and motivate them to see what’s in their own best interest? How do you get a self-sabotaging or passive aggressive person to rise above their issues for the common good? What shouldn't you say to an angry, bullying person and why, and what should you say and do? What are the three tenants of credibility in communication and how do you apply those tenants to successfully win over even the most stubborn individual, inspire understanding, and most importantly, collaborate on viable solutions that you implement successfully together? In this hands-on, immersive workshop, communications and anti-bullying expert Jodee Blanco will show you how you can transform any tense situation into an opportunity to forge a productive, rewarding partnership that enriches everyone.

She’ll provide scripted verbiage, step-by-step guidelines, and simple, practical intervention strategies to regain control and move forward with grace, compassion, and strength. She’ll also give school leaders and HR professionals a tutorial on how to impart these skills to their frontline personnel and hone their abilities and instincts during challenging moments.

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Perrysburg schools invite expert to help curb bullying
Kylie Griner, 8, told 13abc, "I've been bullied made me feel very terrible." In Perrysburg, the district wanted to do a little extra to fight back, against what can be a difficult issue.
Author tells students to be nice to everyone
The first thing Jodee Blanco did when she started speaking to the students of Fort Meigs Elementary School in Perrysburg was teach them her secret code.

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