Renowned Speaker and Author says a “Revolution” is needed in America’s Schools
For Immediate Release − Renowned international speaker and author, Bob Lenz, is releasing his latest book entitled Dignity Revolution: Standing up for the Value of Every Person , co-authored with award-winning educator, Deborah Tackmann. Dignity Revolution is a culmination of Lenz’ three decades of leading assemblies in over 3000 public schools on the issues of bullying, self-harm, suicide and substance abuse. Since 1982, Lenz has reached an estimated four million youth in the U.S. and around the world. Lenz says he hopes the book will begin a national movement among middle and high school students.
“If this book does one thing, I hope it will teach people how to stop judging others by how they look or what they can or cannot do, but instead, see each individual as someone that needs love and deserves respect,” says Lenz. “I grew up with two siblings who had special needs and I came to understand the worth and value of every single human being early on. Our society measures worth on what people can do, and as a result, we have become more human ‘doings’ than human beings. It seems today’s culture is so wrapped up in issues and agendas. I always say ‘it is not an argument to be won, it is a person to be loved.’”
Indeed, Dignity Revolution challenges a societal system which Lenz says simply is not working, and consequently is leading to intensified bullying incidences, suicide, and school violence. “What we need to deal with are the issues beneath the issues,” says Lenz. “We live in a pluralistic society and we need to learn to handle conflicts and find resolutions. We can start by taking away the affects of bullying by empowering the victims, letting each student know that they do not deserve to be picked on
or ridiculed. If a bully cannot get the reaction they want, that shuts them down. Second, we need to love the bullies enough to report them to the appropriate authorities. This is the role of love – to be strength under control and to serve someone else. And bullies need to feel and experience consequences in order to change. You do not truly love someone if you condone or enable their bad behavior.”
The book includes a pledge that students can take, as well as a 21-day challenge that Lenz hopes will begin to change the hearts and minds of kids, and thereby, change the social culture in schools across the nation. “I tell kids not to let their pain, past or problem, take away their value,” Lenz continues. “I tear up a five dollar bill in front of them and then piece it back together, showing them that even though it has been broken, it will still be accepted as currency; it still has value. And no matter what they have gone through, they also have worth and every person they meet has value. If we
can learn to respect people who are different from us or who may not think like us, we can change this generation for the better.”
For Dignity Revolution, Lenz teamed with Deborah Tackmann, B.S., M.E.P.D., a health education instructor, consultant and author in the Eau Claire Area School District in Wisconsin. She was selected as one of the top teachers in the nation by USA Today, was awarded National Education Professional of the Year by ASHA and AAHE, and is a Disney Teacher Award recipient.
Lenz is founder and president of Life Promotions, a non-profit organization that also birthed the annual Lifest event which hosts over 20,000 people for a time of music and teaching in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Lenz has worked with numerous national organizations including MADD, Boys and Girls Clubs, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Youth Encounter, Young Life, NFL Chaplains, among many others. He has headlined tours with Grammy-nominated band, The Newsboys, and been the featured speaker at
numerous festivals including AtlantaFest, Creation, Rock the Desert, and many others.