Survivor, expert and activist Jodee Blanco is one of the country’s pre-eminent voices on the subject of school bullying. She is the author of The New York Times bestseller, Please Stop Laughing At Me . . . One Woman’s Inspirational Story. A chronicle of her years as the student outcast, the book inspired a movement inside the nation’s schools and has become an American classic. Referred to by many as “the anti-bullying bible,” it is required reading in hundreds of middle and high schools and many universities throughout the country. Please Stop Laughing at Me . . . has also been recognized as an essential resource by The National Crime Prevention Council, The Department of Health & Human Services, the National Association of Youth Courts, Special Olympics, The FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America), The American School Counselor’s Association, Teacher Magazine and hundreds of state and local organizations from the PTA and regional law enforcement coalitions to school safety groups.
Blanco’s award winning sequel, Please Stop Laughing at Us . . (BenBella Books), was written in response to the demand for more information from her core audience—teens, teachers, parents and other Adult Survivors of Peer Abuse like herself, who have come to know Blanco as the champion of their cause. It provides advice and solutions set against the backdrop of her dramatic personal and professional journey as the survivor who unexpectedly finds herself the country’s most sought-after anti-bullying activist. Blanco also released a companion journal to Please Stop Laughing At Me... entitled The Please Stop Laughing At Me...Journal: A Safe Place for Us to Talk, in which she helps draw teens out of silence to a place of renewed self-understanding and acceptance. Chock-full of insightful quotes, practical activities, and meaningful questions, Jodee gives young readers a safe place to vent, accompanying them on a guided tour of their deepest thoughts and emotions.
In addition to her books, Blanco’s unprecedented approach to shifting the social dynamic of America’s schools is saving lives and making headlines throughout the United States. She’s presented It’s NOT Just Joking Around!™, her acclaimed anti-bullying program, to a combined audience of over five-hundred thousand students, teachers and parents nationwide at the behest of such entities as The United States Department of Interior, The United States Department of Justice, The National Catholic Educational Association, The American School Counselor's
Association, the Illinois Association of School Boards and countless local school districts, many of whom are adopting her initiatives as part of their core bullying prevention curriculum. It’s NOT Just Joking Around! has also generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant awards for schools and organizations coast to coast.
Blanco has successfully intervened in numerous bullying related attempted suicides and acts of student retaliation. She is a respected crisis management consultant and expert witness in the areas of school violence and peer abuse, and is frequently called upon by the media as an expert interview. Some of the outlets who have turned to her for commentary include Newsweek, USA Today (two front page stories), CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, “Anderson Cooper” and National Public Radio. She has been a frequent guest on bullying related breaking stories for HLN’s “News Now with Mike Galanos,” “Issues with Jane Velez Mitchell”, “Nancy Grace,” among many other of the nation’s top news shows. Blanco has bylined three articles for CNN.com (front page) and The Huffington Post, was the focus of an in-depth front-page Q&A on Oprah.com, and her life story has been featured on CBS Evening News, in Parade, Teen Newsweek, USA TODAY, Teen Guideposts, Hispanic, The Chicago Tribune, and hundreds of local daily papers worldwide.
A tireless advocate for the shunned and forgotten student, Blanco’s rare understanding of why kids abuse other kids comes from a deep personal place. From fifth grade through the end of high school, she was rejected and tormented by her peers simply for being different and knows first hand what it’s like to contemplate retaliation. Since the release of Please Stop Laughing At Me . . ., Blanco has committed her life to turning her pain into purpose. Inspired by the thousands of letters and requests she receives for help, she travels around the country sharing her story of forgiveness and triumph. One of the most sought after keynote speakers and seminar presenters, Blanco’s anti-bullying initiatives are redefining the scope of possibilities for curbing suffering in our schools worldwide.
Blanco’s work has been published in Japanese, Chinese, Danish, Lithuanian, Indonesian, and Arabic. She lives in Florida. For more information on Blanco and how to bring her to your school or community to share her story live, visit her website at www.jodeeblanco.com.