Training Active Bystanders

The Training Active Bystanders program is the work of many thousands of people in Massachusetts’ North Quabbin and beyond. Quabbin Mediation is deeply grateful to all those volunteers who have given so much of themselves to make the program a success. The original version of the Training Active Bystanders curriculum was created and first used in collaboration between Quabbin Mediation, Inc., and Professor Ervin Staub in 2006-2007 and is based in significant part on his work.

Our region is resource poor, but rich in connection and cooperation. Quabbin Mediation engaged myriad partners keen to design and build a practical program responsive to our rural-small town needs but applicable in virtually any setting. TAB has proven quite versatile. In addition to its use in public schools in Massachusetts and New England for students and educators, it has been well received in settings such as an East Los Angeles high school, GLSEN-MA youth conferences (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network), a school for exceptionally high needs youth, summer camps, MIT and Mt. Holyoke College, and the Lifers’ Group at the Mass. Correctional Institute at Norfolk.

Vital allies from the beginning were the Athol-Royalston Regional School District, the Athol Police Department, Ralph C. Mahar Regional School District and the Orange Police Department. We have trained one thousand student TAB trainers (and hundreds of community adults) who have taught 10,000 youth and adults to analyze a situation when they are bystanders to harm and to safely take action.

Youth trainers are at the heart of TAB. With conviction and passion, they transform the curriculum into something personally meaningful for their peers, encouraging them to exert power to encourage positive personal interactions and to create just and caring schools and communities.

Sharon Tracy and Susan Wallace,
Quabbin Mediation
January 2014

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