The Book: Please Stop Laughing at Me DVD - CD INJJA Media Room Contact Newsletter Survival: Tips and resources for Students, Parents and Teachers
Bullying. Jodee Blanco. Somebody does understand.
                Clips of Jodee Speaking Live  

Speaking Engagement Tour

Learn More

For more information about our tour,
please email The Blanco Group at:, or
call 312-961-3430.

* Please note that sometimes
our response emails get caught
in spam filters. If you don't
receive a response from
The Blanco Group within five
business days please
check your spam email folder
and/or call our office directly
for information

Buy the New Book Now

Jodee Blanco
Survivor Turned Activist
“The Voice of America’s Bullied Students”
“The bully never remembers, the outcast never forgets.”
Bullying related suicides are on the rise.  Schools are becoming emotional war zones. Millions of kids are crying themselves to sleep every night, wondering why no matter how hard they try, they can’t seem to fit in.  As you’re reading the words on this page, there’s a student somewhere, suffering and alone, their future dangling by a thread. Cruelty can be currency to the young, and it’s running rampant in our schools, from the hallways and the cafeterias to the locker rooms and school buses.  It’s perpetrated in a thousand ways, and now with the internet and cell phones, there’s no escape, not even when a child is in their own room at home.  As schools, parents, and law makers struggle to find the answer, Jodee Blanco is out there, traveling the nation’s schools, working deep inside the trenches to motivate real, sustainable change. 

Invite anti-bullying activist Jodee Blanco to speak at your school, or to your group. She understands first-hand the reality of being the school outcast. From fifth grade through senior year of high school, she was shunned, abused and tormented by her peers simply for being different and refusing to conform to the rules of the cool crowd.

Jodee’s story however has a happy ending. She not only survived those years of ostracism and pain, but she grew up to become a highly successful entrepreneur.  Her brave memoir PLEASE STOP LAUGHING AT ME… landed a spot on the New York Times Best-Seller list within 48 hours of its release, and climbed steadily for six straight weeks. Each day, she receives dozens of emails and letters from students, parents, educators, and “Adult Survivors of Peer Abuse,” like herself from across the country, thanking her for her courage, advice, and the hope she represents.

Listen to how being the school outcast was the most valuable experience of her life.
Learn the most devastating failures of herself, her parents, teachers, school administration and bystanders.
Learn why zero tolerance equals zero effectiveness.
Listen and learn the ultimate meaning of forgiveness.
Listen as Jodee reveals her most important secrets.
Experience her rebirth, her triumphant return to her 20th high school reunion, and finally, the kiss she longed
for since the fifth grade.


• Schools
• Police
• School Police
• Parent organizations
• Teacher’s organizations
• School administration
• Medical professionals
• Law professionals
• Government organizations
• After-school programs
• Sports organizations
• Community groups

Jodee will personally work with you to create a program that specifically fits the needs of your organization.

Elected Government officials – Jodee will work with you on anti-bullying legislation and speak to your assembly on behalf of the bill.


Program TitleIt’s NOT Just Joking Around!™

Session Descriptions

In author/speaker Jodee’s own words….

Student Presentation(s)

The student presentation(s) is ninety minutes.  I relive painful episodes from my past in front of the students so that they can witness firsthand what I endured at the hands of my peers. It’s emotional and intense and allows the audience to live inside the heart and head of the bullying victim.  My primary message to students is three fold: bullying is not just joking around, it damages you for life; bullying just isn’t the mean things you do, it’s all the nice things you never do; and if you’re being bullied or shunned, there’s nothing wrong with you, it’s everything that’s right about you that makes you a target, and that you shouldn’t change for anyone, it is those who put you down who need to change.  In addition to the re-enactment of my school days, during which that tri-teared message is continually reinforced, I also give students specific advice on how to handle what I call “elite tormentors,” the mean members of the cool crowd.   I conclude the presentation with an empathy exercise for students that brings my anti-bullying message home on a visceral and deeply personal level.  

Depending upon the size of the school/district, I can do one or two student presentations to accommodate all the students.  Bear in mind, the student presentations are age-appropriate and divided as follows:


Fifth graders can attend the elementary school or middle school age presentation.  It’s up to the discretion of the school which presentation they feel would be better suited for their particular fifth grade class.  Some schools are already experiencing pronounced, sophisticated forms of bullying at the fifth grade level and feel their fifth graders need a stronger, “big kid” approach.  Others are more comfortable with their fifth graders attending the elementary school presentation, which communicates the same basic message, but more softly and simply. It all depends upon the level of bullying in fifth grade at each particular school and what administration thinks will have the strongest impact. 

After the student presentation(s), I make myself available to do one-on-one sessions with any students who wish to speak with me. Typically, those students will include victims who want a sympathetic ear and “elite tormentors” who never realized they were cruel until they heard my talk, and now want my advice on how to make amends to their victims.

After-School Parent/Teacher Workshop

I can enlighten the students and inspire them to be more compassionate, but if I don’t educate parents and teachers on how to maintain that new level of empathy and tolerance both at school and at home, then I’ve fallen short of my goal.  To that end, the parent/teacher workshop is a comprehensive, ninety-minute immersive experience during which I offer specific strategies and initiatives along with scripted verbiage adults can use with kids. 

The presentation includes: what you should never say to a bullied child and why; what youshould say and do; the difference between authority and emotional credibility and  how it can make or break a child's ability to trust in you;  how the bully and the victim are flipsides of the same coin and how to assist both; the two types of bullied students; the two types of popular students; the typical profile of the bullied child; how to intervene with a bullied child and/or a bully one-on-one; how to intervene in a group bullying situation; the single biggest mistake parents and teachers make when dealing with a bullied child that can often lead to suicide and how to avoid it; how to "think like a kid" instead of a "grown-up" and apply this skill to save a young life; a creative new approach to helping kids absorb academic lessons and ace homework that cleverly incorporates anti-bullying and other life lessons that teachers and parents can easily put into practice; why traditional punishment doesn’t always work and how to supplement it with more enlightened forms of discipline that are "compassion-centric"; how parents and teachers can work together effectively and productively when dealing with a difficult child; among other strategies and solutions.

I also share deeply personal insights such as: the worst mistakes my parents and teachers made and how I wish they would have handled things differently; the most common complaints I hear from bullied students today, and what they want their parents and teachers to know but don’t have the courage to tell them.  At the end of this workshop, parents, teachers, counselors and any adult responsible for the well-being of a child will have concrete knowledge about what to do to help both the bullies and the victims at home and at school.  They will have scripted verbiage, specific strategies, creative suggestions, and other valuable tools that only someone who was bullied and survived, and is working with thousands of other children who are going through the same thing she once did could provide.  This is an honest and exciting workshop that not only informs participants, but also celebrates their energy and commitment to youth

A Sampling of Select Available Offerings
Note:  For pricing specifics please contact our office as pricing may vary, depending on time of year, duration of speaking engagement, among other considerations.

Outlined below are some package options we offer.  Bear in mind we can tailor Jodee’s presentations to fit your specific needs and focus.

Package Options
1. Platinum
Two Student Presentations (90 min. each)
The After-School Parent/Teacher Workshop (90 min.)

Note: Our Platinum Package is the day-long program as described in the preceding page—to encapsulate, it offers two Student Presentations (generally scheduled in the morning or afternoon), and the after school Parent/Teacher Workshop. Two Student Presentations are offered in this package to accommodate schools that need to break their student body into two separate audiences for purposes of grade level and/or space issues/logistics.
2. Gold
One Student Presentation (90 min.)
The After-School Parent/Teacher Workshop (90 min.)

Two Ninety-Minute Student Presentations


One Ninety-Minute Student Presentation

5. Tailored Package Options

The Blanco Group is flexible and welcomes the opportunity to work with schools/districts/organizations and associations on Tailored Package options designed to accommodate special needs and requirements ranging from scheduling Jodee’s visit to coincide with a mandated faculty in-service day, contouring a Student Presentation to address specific bullying trends within a particular school or class, among other popular requests.  Additionally, Jodee can dedicate an entire day or half-day to faculty and/or administration, offering customized, extended Educator Workshops. 

The prices for Tailored Packages vary depending upon content, number of sessions, and duration of engagement, and are individually negotiated.

  Please Note on Travel Expenses: Expenses are not included in the above pricing and include ground transportation, air-travel, hotel and food.

It’s NOT Just Joking Around!
Defining the Difference:

Imagine that you’re walking down the street and suddenly, you fall into this deep hole, and can’t find the way out.   Two people pass by, hear your cries for help, and offer assistance: one is a renowned academic who specializes in the geo-thermal dynamic of holes,  wrote his doctoral thesis on escape routes, but has never actually been in a hole himself; the other is an ordinary person who  fell into the very same hole you did the week before, found his way out, and is offering to crawl back down inside, take hold of your hand and guide you out the same way; who would you choose to save you?  I’m that person.  While I support the valuable work of academics who have dedicated themselves to understanding bullying and its affects, and recognize their work as vital to the future of our children, what I do in schools is much different  than those who utilize empirical data and case studies as the building blocks of their solutions strategies. 

I offer an innovative, deeply personal approach to bullying and peer abuse – the human side that only someone who’s been alone, trapped inside that hole herself, shivering and afraid, can provide, and the subsequent perspective of survivor, who to this day, still copes with the aftermath of the abuse that she endured.

How many teachers, counselors, and administrators, are “Adult Survivors of Peer Abuse” that have never come to terms with the fact that they were bullied? What about the adults who were the bullies when they were students – those rare few who have the courage to admit it, and carry the burden of guilt every day? How many adult bullies work in the American school system now? These adults teach our children, but what are they teaching? What messages are they verbally and silently sending? It’s NOTJust Joking Around!™ is the only program that teaches and supports faculty and staff as they reconcile their own feelings about the issue. Even for adults, change comes from the inside out, not the outside in.

I work well with students because  I understand that motivation for change must be found within, and supported by adults and classmates alike. Fueled by the insight and compassion that can only come from a survivor, I welcome the continued opportunity to help provide our youth an emotionally safe environment to learn. If they are afraid to come to school, and afraid at school and after school how can they possibly focus on their studies? A confident child is harder to bully, a compassionate child will not bully.


Personal consultations by phone with Jodee for individuals and families are available by appointment.

Schools and organizations often schedule consulting hours when booking seminars and workshops.

For availability and consulting fees, please contact The Blanco Group.


For further information, and to book Jodee for a seminar, workshop, or keynote please contact:

The Blanco Group
Phone: 312-961-3430