ABOUT IZZY KALMAN
Israel “Izzy” Kalman is an international authority on bullying. During four decades of exhaustive research and fieldwork, he has been changing the way bullying is understood and neutralized. While exposing problems with the conventional, legalistic approach to bullying, Izzy has pioneered a pragmatic, more psychologically sound approach.
The Columbine High School massacre of April 20, 1999, committed by two students who portrayed themselves as victims of bullying, was the most horrific school shooting that had ever occurred. It rocked the world. Having seen the devastating implications of bullying, society declared war against it, giving rise to the anti-bullying movement, or antibullying, as Izzy has labeled it, the most popular social movement in history. The war has been spreading throughout the world, spawning a multitude of anti-bullying organizations and a billion-dollar industry.
Twenty years later, despite the enormous expenditure of effort and resources, this war is being lost. Distraught parents are suing schools with increasing frequency for failing to stop their children from being bullied. The suicide rate of bullied kids has skyrocketed. The fear that any school can be next in line for a massacre by a bullied youth has become so great that many districts are mandating active shooter training.
Izzy had been successfully teaching kids and schools how to deal with bullying for twenty years before the Columbine massacre. Afterward, he immediately began warning that antibullying, or antibullyism, as Izzy has labeled it, would cause more harm than good. Antibullyism was contrary to basic psychological principles and promoted interventions that tend to intensify hostilities and weaken children emotionally. Izzy has fought an uphill battle fraught with relentless vilification, because the promises of antibullyism are so seductive and no one wants their hopes shattered. Who can resist the irrational ideas that schools can guarantee children a bully-free environment, that victims have absolutely nothing to do with being bullied, and that only bullies are to blame and need to change? Thus, people continue to zealously support antibullyism despite its inevitably disappointing accomplishments.
Without concern for profits, Izzy has continued to challenge the massive anti-bullying industry while disseminating the Kalman Method, also known as Bullies to Buddies, which actually saves schools money. Rather than trying to eradicate bullies, Kalman focuses on teaching people how not to be victims. When victims are armed with this knowledge, bullies seem to miraculously disappear, like sharks with no prey. Furthermore, Izzy does not differentiate between “bullies” and “victims.” Every child deserves to learn how to defuse hostility and to be socially successful, skills that will help them for a lifetime.
Fundamental to the innovative Kalman Method are compassion, humor, insight, wisdom, and speed. It exploits the genius of children to help them transcend victimization, and it does so in record time. In this almost effortless process, Izzy’s students recoup their self-confidence, happiness, and excitement for life. Some have called the Kalman Method “magical.”
Izzy has taught the Kalman Method to tens of thousands of mental health professionals and educators and has presented at some of the most prestigious conferences. Over the years, he has produced an immense body of writings, much of which reveals the flaws within the anti-bullying psychology and movement. His predictions of the problems it would engender have largely come true. Anyone searching for information on the problems with antibullyism are almost certain to have come across articles and videos by Izzy and his students, and thus he has been slowly-but-surely changing public consciousness about bullying. Whenever a bullying expert teaches, “The Golden Rule means don’t get upset; treat them like a friend,” you can be sure they have studied the Kalman Method.
Izzy’s work has been featured in major media, including the New York Times and Good Morning America. Many of his students, including his former protégé, popular youth speaker Brooks Gibbs, have made Izzy’s teachings the core of their work. Along with bullying-prevention organizations such as Be Strong, they are spreading the Kalman Method throughout the world.
"Izzy...taught me everything I know about bullying and helping students with their social problems. Every speech I have given on the subject is dripping with his flawless logic….I love Izzy and am forever grateful for his investment in my life."
- Brooks Gibbs, Author
“I have attended many seminars, conferences, workshops, etc. – 17 years. This is the best seminar I have ever attended. I am an adult probation officer and victims coordinator. The knowledge I have obtained will assist me with my profession, personal life, and the victims I assist. Mr. Kalman is extremely knowledgeable of his topic, presented the topic well, and made the seminar fun.”
– Carol Rhodes, Adult Probation Officer/Victim Coordinator, San Antonio, Texas
"We at PSI were so impressed with the simplicity and common sense of the Bullies to Buddies™ program that we had to make it our own. We have partnered with Izzy Kalman and Cleveland State University to bring this program to the thousands of students that PSI serves.”
- Steve Rosenberg, PhD, Psychologist, President, PSI Solutions, Ohio