Safe School Ambassadors


Safe School Ambassadors (developed by Community Matters in Sebastopol, CA) is a program that trains diverse and socially influential student leaders to intervene with their friends and classmates when they see teasing, bullying, and other acts of cruelty.

For many students, schools are a place where they don t feel welcome, safe, and included. According to a national study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 75% of students say that they have been bullied at school.

After the issue of school safety was brought to the forefront by tragedies like the Columbine High School shooting in April of 1999, most schools responded by making themselves into fortresses - increasing supervision and surveillance, restricting access, and setting stricter policies with tougher consequences. Yet, until recently, schools and communities have largely ignored the most powerful source for stopping school violence and cruelty, the students themselves.

"Students see, hear, and know what adults don't. They can intervene in ways adults can't," said Community Matters trainer Helen Perdue, "but usually they don't. They often fear retaliation or simply don't know what to do."

The Safe School Ambassador program removes these obstacles by very carefully identifying and selecting socially influential "opinion leaders" from the diverse cliques and groups at school. They are trained in non-violent intervention and communication skills to use among their peer group to prevent and stop cruelty.

The training is funded by a North Bay Schools Insurance Authority grant. Community Matters is a 501C3 nonprofit organization, dedicated to youth development. Since 1990, Community Matters has worked with hundreds of schools, districts, and other youth serving organizations to help them engage, empower, and equip young people with the knowledge, tools and experiences to be effective contributors to their schools and communities. For more information visit

Currently the school is taking applications from students in 4th - 6th grade to be trained as Safe School Ambassadors. Students selected will receive a parent permission form and will participate in two day training. If you have questions about the program please call Mr. Crane at 453-6250.


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