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Press Release

Highmark Foundation announces new bullying prevention guides for parents and educators

July 17, 2014

PITTSBURGH  — The Highmark Foundation, in collaboration with the Center for Safe Schools, has developed new bullying prevention resources for parents, teachers, school administrators and volunteers who work with youth and families.

In 2013, the Highmark Foundation and the Center for Safe Schools introduced the Pennsylvania Bullying Prevention Toolkit, which covers 16 topics including the role of bystanders, why kids bully, strategies for kids, the roles of adults, cyberbullying and tips for parents (of children who bully, are bullied or witness bullying).

New to the toolkit are four companion guides that, in greater detail, provide information specific to: what parents should know, preventing bullying after and out of school, what school administrators should know and preventing bullying in urban schools.

"As we got more involved in preventing bullying, we became aware of gaps in information for certain audiences," said Yvonne Cook, president of the Highmark Foundation. "Parents of children who are bullied needed assistance but weren't getting it. Furthermore, agencies that help families in crisis weren't equipped with the necessary resources. So we expanded our toolkit to bridge those gaps and respond to the needs of families distressed by bullying."

According to a study by Limber, Olweus and Luxenberg (2013), depending on age, up to 22 percent of school students report being bullied two or three times per month or more. Third and fourth graders report the highest incidence.

The Highmark Foundation established the Bullying Prevention Institute in 2007 after forming a coalition of bullying prevention experts and partners including the Center for Safe Schools and Windber Research Institute. Since then, it has implemented bullying prevention programs that have reached several hundred thousand students in hundreds of Pennsylvania schools and has coordinated continuing education programs, drawing over 1,700 professionals to nearly 40 events.

Cook said, "We believe that the Highmark Foundation's efforts have played a critical role in helping thousands of students remain safe at school."

To learn more about bullying and the Highmark Foundation's bullying prevention resources and to view and download the 32-page Pennsylvania Bullying Prevention Toolkit plus the companion guides, visit the Bullying Prevention page on the Foundation's website at

About The HIghmark Foundation
The Highmark Foundation is a private, charitable organization of Highmark Inc. that supports initiatives and programs aimed at improving community health. The Foundation's mission is to improve the health, well-being and quality of life for individuals who reside in the communities served by Highmark Inc. The Foundation strives to support evidence-based programs that impact multiple counties and work collaboratively to leverage additional funding to achieve replicable models. For more information, visit

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