About Tom Letson MA LPC LCADC

Tom Letson, a NJ Licensed Professional Counselor is the Student
Assistance Coordinator at Middletown High School South in
Middletown, New Jersey. He is the former Student Assistance
Coordinator for the Howell Township School District where he
implemented an annual Bully Prevention Program and Reporting
System in three middle schools for more than a decade.

Tom authored the self-help book,
4 Downs to Anger Control, which
uses football as a metaphor to teach anger control skills, was recently
purchased by Florida International University Football Team following
the nationally televised brawl with the University of Miami in October

Tom developed Bullystoppers.com in 2001 in response to the lack of
available means for students to safely report bullying anonymously to
adults at their schools.  The reporting philosophy on
Bullystoppers.com was a direct result from Tom's professional
successes in implementing an anonymous bully reporting system in
Howell's three middle schools.

A participant in three international online school bullying and violence
conferences , Tom was also a consultant to the award winning
commercial "Collecting Rocks" which served to inform the Canadian
public of the seriousness of bullying in Canada's schools.  Collecting
Rocks depicts the tragic suicide of 14 year old Hamed Nastoh,  who
jumped to his death from a bridge committing suicide after years of
torment from peers in school. To view this commercial
click here.

Tom is an advocate of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, which
emphasizes a school-wide approach to Bullying Prevention.  He is also
an advocate of teaching students, when appropriate, avoidance
strategies and psychological defense tactics and skills when
confronted with bullying.  The goal is to reduce the bully's emotional
pay-off and bolster the victim's self-esteem.  

It should be noted that some bullying professionals disagree with
teaching children such strategies because they feel it sends the
message that the victim is primarily responsible for ending the
bullying.  Depending on the developmental period of the child in
question, this is a sensible approach. For example, a third grader is
not developmentally capable of consciously controlling his non-verbal
behavior to avoid giving a bully the emotional payoff he desires.  This
being the case, teaching a 3rd grader avoidance and psychological
defense tactics is not appropriate.  A 7th grader on the other hand, is
developmentally capable to learn and implement these skills.  Tom's
question to those professionals who discourage such skills training:  
why would we not teach this child not to give a bully an emotional
payoff?  One professional who disagrees with teaching victims
strategies and skills even suggested that teaching children to be
assertive, a life skill, is contraindicated when it comes to bullying.  

Tom believes that teaching students who are determined to be good
candidates to learn and use skills to avoid and reduce the risk of
bullying is comparable to the rationale in teaching personal safety
skills and tactics. Click here.
New Jersey Licensed Counseling Services - Morganville, NJ (732) 817-0103