The 100% RESPECT! Campaign is a comprehensive social and emotional learning program that seeks to transform positively the tone and culture of a school building. Matthew Guldin developed the 100% RESPECT! Campaign to address disrespectful behaviors being exhibited by students to each other and to staff during his tenure as Dean at East Side Community HS in NYC. Teachers needed a means to address the situation, and Matthew set about making a plan to ensure that everyone at the school got what they wanted: RESPECT!
The Campaign accomplishes this aim by acknowledging the fundamental equality of all people while at the same time recognizing the different roles we all play within a school community. Developed on the ground by Matthew, and implemented by his assistant deans, a core of committed teachers and a group of student ‘Respect Reps!’, the program has been very successful in reducing violent and anti-social behavior—leading to falling suspension rates, higher test scores and a much safer school environment.
The Campaign aims to help all members of a school community—students, teachers, school leaders and all school support staff—to treat each other with respect. Since there are differences (sometimes major differences) in how the various constituents of a given school define respect and interpret one another’s actions, we have developed a program that fosters communication and collaboration between all people who are members of a particular school community. The 100% RESPECT! Campaign is a program that can be scaled to suit campuses both large and small.
The Campaign begins by breaking down and rebuilding the primary relationships in a school environment: those among students and those between students and staff. The program structures activities to help people communicate with each other across all the social barriers that tend to keep us apart—those of age, class, color, nationality, gender, and sexual orientation. It then teaches skills to ensure that people continue listening to each other and begin giving respect in ways that others can accept. These are skills that students and teachers alike can use beyond the confines of the school environment.
The 100% RESPECT! Campaign operates on a participatory democracy model in which everyone’s voice is heard and all work to define what respectful behavior looks like. This approach acknowledges our common humanity and establishes the fact that everyone does, in fact, deserve 100% RESPECT!
Interview with Matthew Guldin
In this interview, Matthew Guldin describes the background of the 100% RESPECT! Campaign, its roots in Social and Emotional Learning as well as the Restorative Justice Movement, and its relation to his lifework in education.
Lehman College Panel, May 2018
A panel hosted by Lehman College and moderated by Matthew Guldin, in which Mentor Principals and Deans share their experiences in moving their school’s culture away from suspensions and the process of building community that they needed to engage in.
In this video, produced by the Teachers Democracy Project of Baltimore, the case is made for Restorative Justice practices to be used in schools by Principals, parents, teachers and RJ movement leaders. It also features Matthew Guldin speaking on the importance of the Principals being on board to lead this process of change.