Press Release

Operation Respect Releases Revised Version of Its ‘Don’t Laugh at Me’ Curriculum
Research-based lessons harness music and arts education to create bully-free learning environments.

For Immediate release

Contact: Molly McCloskey
866-546-9291, xtn. 3


April 6, 2016 – New York, NY – Operation Respect, the organization dedicated to creating safe, compassionate learning environments for children and youth, this week released a revised version of its Don’t Laugh at Me curriculum which harnesses the power of music and arts education to teach core social and emotional learning (SEL) competencies to young people such as respect, communication and active listening, creative conflict resolution, appreciation of diversity, and the healthy expression of feelings.

The Don’t Laugh at Me lessons, based on the Resolving Conflict Creatively Program developed by Educators for Social Responsibility (now known as Engaging Schools), span four themes: Expressing and Managing Feelings; Building Community; Resolving Conflict Creatively; and Celebrating Diversity, and they equip children and youth with lifelong social, ethical, and emotional skills, said Operation Respect CEO and President Molly McCloskey.

“Operation Respect’s Don’t Laugh at Me curriculum offers educators the tools they need to establish peaceful and supportive learning environments,” McCloskey said. “I’m so excited that we are able to offer this free, updated version of our original curriculum so that schools can create and maintain respectful, safe, and compassionate climates of learning, free of bullying, ridicule, and violence.”Top of Form

Since 2000, Operation Respect has disseminated over 180,000 copies of Don’t Laugh at Me free of charge, throughout the United States and across the world. The lessons have been translated into Hebrew, Arabic, Japanese, Cantonese, and Ukrainian and used in countless classrooms, after-school programs and camps.

A total of 19 research-based lessons are included in the revised curriculum and all focus on instruction in SEL skills. Each 45-minute lesson includes integrated arts, is mapped to the Common Core State Standards, and offers suggested curricular connections. Lessons are written for implementation in Grades 2-5 with modifications included for Grades K-1 and Grades 6-Adult.

In addition to the release of the revised Don’t Laugh at Me curriculum, Operation Respect also revamped its entire web presence, making it easier than ever for educators to access related teaching and learning resources, testimonials, and much more.

“Building a caring community takes time, patience, sustained effort, and support,” McCloskey added. “Our goal is to equip teachers, school counselors, principals, and other educators who wish to implement Don’t Laugh at Me and other related efforts with the necessary skills and confidence to launch the program successfully. Operation Respect is here to provide school/district-wide implementation support, workshops, assemblies, professional coaching and keynote addresses.”

About Us: Operation Respect is a non-profit education and advocacy organization dedicated to transforming schools, camps, and other youth-serving organizations into safer, more respectful, bully-free environments for children and youth.  Founded in 1999 by Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary, and Dr. Charlotte Frank, McGraw-Hill Education senior advisor, Operation Respect disseminates its own classroom-based curriculum, the “Don’t Laugh at Me,” program, free of charge to schools worldwide. Operation Respect’s inspiring music, SEL curricula, multicultural videos and highly-regarded professional training provide adults with the tools they need to help children express their feelings constructively, resolve conflict peacefully, celebrate diversity, and engage with each other in a spirit of caring, compassion and cooperation. To learn more visit

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