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As an anti-bullying prevention speaker you're probably thinking my pat answer will be "YES, assemblies do work." And yes, the short answer is, in many cases they do. However, I strongly believe in some cases, anti-bullying assemblies are doing more harm than good. Let me explain.

As a child, I do not remember anyone ever using the word, "BULLYING". Now, you cannot go through your newsfeed on social media or turn on the TV without hearing the word. I strongly believe the word, "bullying" is overused and misused.

Principals across America in most cases have been forced to put anti-bullying policies in place. I am beyond grateful for these policies, but at the same time, I realize everything and anything is called bullying anymore. The misuse of what bullying truly is, really has made the job of a principal even harder. Not to mention, it has turned students off at the thought of an assembly. Just ask any student if they are excited about a school assembly (besides the excitement of getting out of class for an hour) and the answer overwhelmingly will be "no" every time.

When I walk into a school to do an assembly, I NEVER say the words "bullying" or "bully". If I did, most kids immediately would turn their ears off because of the overuse of these terms. The feedback I receive from teachers, principals, counselors and students is they are tired of the same old assembly talks.

This is why I created the "Destroy Illusions" school assembly program. Our goal is to focus on the solution and the root cause of the problem. What causes bullying? I believe it comes down to respect for yourself and others. The word "respect" is the primary focus of our assembly. Within that word, we are able to tackle issues like self-image, purpose in life, treating others with respect & home-life. We tackle a variety of topics without it seeming we are being topical. The "Destroy Illusions" assembly is a raw and real approach. No statistics. Students hate stats and quite frankly never believe they are a part of a statistic. No matter how high a percentage is, they all believe they will be the one it will NOT happen too. Real stories and real talk that destroy the illusions and lies students are believing about life is what drives our assembly program. We don't just stop there. We then offer solutions and answers with truth/reality to the illusions we just destroyed.

If you would like to learn more about the "Destroy Illusions" school assembly program, watch the promo video and check out the website for more info and rates at

Tom Coverly

Motivational Speaker Follow on Instagram | Facebook | Twiiter @TomCoverlyTour

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