Monday, November 5th, 2012 8:15 am – 9:15 am

Talking About Gay Stuff Makes Me Uncomfortable—But I Know I Need to Do It!

Debra Chasnoff 

One look at today’s headlines, school violence and youth suicide statistics makes it clear that addressing anti-gay stigma is absolutely essential for any adult who is committed to preventing and stopping bullying today. But for most professionals who work with youth, dealing with the alphabet soup of LGBT issues or youth often can feel like a minefield. Weaving in film clips from her twenty-year body of work addressing youth, school, and bias issues, Debra will examine why it’s hard for many of us to address homophobic harassment, why it’s critical that we do so, and how to begin taking action so that all students feel safe and supported. 

debra chasnoffAcademy Award–winning documentary filmmaker Debra Chasnoff is a nationally recognized champion of using film as an organizing tool for social justice campaigns, and a pioneering leader in the international movement working to create safe and welcoming schools and communities. Debra’s highly acclaimed documentaries addressing youth and bias issues are widely hailed by educators and advocates as among the best tools available today to help open up dialogue and advocacy around many of the most challenging issues affecting young people’s lives and school environments. Her most recent film is Straightlaced—How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up, about the gender and sexuality pressures that teens and young adults face today. Her other award-winning films include It’s Elementary—Talking About Gay Issues in School, Let’s Get Real (about bias and bullying) That’s a Family! (supporting youth growing up in diverse family structures) and It’s STILL Elementary, a renewed call to action.



Tuesday, November 6th, 2012  8:30 am – 9:30 am
What 13,000 young people want you to know about bullying: The Youth Voice Research Project

Stan Davis, Dr. Charisse Nixon, PhD

The Youth Voice Project is the first known research that has asked large numbers of young people which strategies have actually worked for them when they observed or experienced bullying behavior. We will present what young people told us about the effectiveness of different actions by bullied youth, about the effectiveness of different actions by school adults, and about the effects of different actions by peer bystanders.


Stan Davis has been active in bullying prevention since the 1990s, as part of a four decade career in child and family therapy and school counseling. He has trained and supported schools worldwide and is the author of two well-respected books about bullying: Schools Where Everyone Belongs and Empowering Bystanders.

charisse nixonCharisse Nixon received her Ph.D. from West Virginia University and is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology at Penn State Erie. Her primary research interest focuses on covert aggression (e.g., relational aggression), including both prevention and intervention efforts. She is the coauthor of Girl Wars: 12 Strategies That Will End Female Bullying (Fireside, 2003) as well as several scholarly articles. She is currently conducting a large-scale national study with Stan Davis to examine the effectiveness of bullying strategies from the students’ perspectives. Their study samples over 13 thousand students in grades 5-12 from all over the United States. Dr. Nixon trains educators throughout the United States providing a unique integration of empirical research and practical strategies to help educators create learning environments that optimize student development.