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The Ophelia Project

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Study Shows Effectiveness of CASS: Creating a Safe Schoolâ„¢

Erie, PA, February 21, 2007 --( A recent study performed by The Ophelia Project® research team illustrates the short term effectiveness of The Ophelia Project’s CASS: Creating a Safe School™ program in reducing relationally aggressive behavior among middle school students. The study shows that, after a year of involvement in CASS: Creating a Safe School™, relationally aggressive behavior that is used by aggressive students was reduced by 23% in girls and 10% in boys.  In the sixth grade classes (the largest single-grade sampling), aggressors use of this behavior was reduced by 16.7%.

“These results establish CASS as an effective tool in combating relational aggression, though it is just a step toward long-term systemic change,” said Mary Baird, President and CEO of The Ophelia Project.

The research team surveyed five schools, four schools in the northeastern part of the and one school in the southeast. Surveys were taken before the CASS: Creating a Safe School™ programs were implemented and then again one year after the students participated in CASS: Creating a Safe School™. Overall, 537 students were included in the study including 393 6th graders, 80 7th graders and 64 8th graders, of which 24% were considered regular users of relational aggression.

CASS: Creating a Safe School™ is an intervention process from The Ophelia Project® that addresses relational aggression in schools across the country. Today there more than 20 CASS communities nationwide - communities that have taken a stand against gossiping, spreading rumors, alliance building, exclusion and other behaviors that damage peer relationships.  As relational aggression awareness is raised among students, teachers and administrators, CASS: Creating a Safe School™ communities will be put on the path to creating a safe social climate for everyone.

The Ophelia Project® is a national nonprofit organization  headquartered in Erie, Pa.  Recognized as a leader in assessing social conditions and advocating healthy, safe relationships, the organization partners with educational, civic and community leaders to educate and empower kids and adults across North America. Visit or call 888-256-KIDS (5437) to learn more.

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The Ophelia Project
Amanda Burlingham

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