Paul Mitchell Schools and University of Nebraska – Lincoln Team Up to Create Self-Empowerment, Anti-Bullying Curriculum

Paul Mitchell Schools and University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Team Up to Create Self-Empowerment, Anti-Bullying Curriculum





Winn Claybaugh, dean and cofounder of the nationwide network of Paul Mitchell cosmetology schools, and Dr. Susan Swearer, a national and international expert on bullying prevention and intervention, recently announced the formation of a partnership between Paul Mitchell Schools and the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL). Their new N-Lighten program will produce an anti-bullying, self-empowerment curriculum for the Paul Mitchell Schools, focusing on both prevention and intervention. The partnership will also create a lifelong learning community synergized around the relationship between service and research and a shared passion for self-empowerment, healthy relationships, and anti-bullying initiatives.


Swearer notes that bullying negatively impacts three out of four students during their school years. Psychological consequences include depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, antisocial behavior, and feelings of helplessness, anger, and frustration — feelings that can last into adulthood. Bullying also contributes to a negative school climate, which is connected to lower academic functioning and dropout.


“Every parent wants the absolute best for his or her children,” Claybaugh says. “When prospective students step into a Paul Mitchell School, their parents are entrusting us with the safety and security of their son or daughter. We take that responsibility very seriously. Our partnership with Susan Swearer, who has spent her professional career studying these behaviors, puts the world on notice that Paul Mitchell Schools are committed to not just teaching the skills of cosmetology but also the skills of life, leadership, and happiness. This is an opportunity for Paul Mitchell Schools to raise awareness that bullying and harassing behaviors cannot be tolerated in the society we live in.”


The N-Lighten program will start with a centrally located outreach training hub for bullying prevention and intervention training. Combining messages from Claybaugh’s book, Be Nice (Or Else!), with evidence-based approaches that teach healthy thinking and relationship skills, the program will be disseminated to the 100-plus Paul Mitchell Schools and eventually to millions of high school students nationwide. Trainings will be held at UNL for Paul Mitchell School owners and instructors, and a parallel distance education course will be created to expand the training to those unable to travel to Nebraska.


On July 24, 2013 I had the privilege to attend the first N-Lighten training program in Lincoln Nebraska where I went through a 2 day training and became a certified trainer of the program. I am currently passing this information not only through my own schools but have taken it into many high schools, and am continuing on my journey to put an end to