SuEllen Fried

SuEllen Fried is an American bullying prevention activist, writer and educator.[1] She was number 900 on President George H. W. Bush's Thousand Points of Light foundation list in 1993.[2]

SuEllen Fried
SuEllen Fried with her signature
"Power of Kindness" button
SuEllen Weissman

(1932-09-18) September 18, 1932
St. Louis, Missouri
ResidencePrairie Village, KS
Other namesSue
Alma materWashington University, St. Louis, MO
Park University, Parkville, MO B.A.
American Dance Therapy Association (M.A. equivalency)
OccupationWriter, Bullying prevention activist, Educator
Board member ofLife member Prevent Child Abuse America
President Emeritus Reaching Out From Within
Commissioner LINC (Local Investment Commission)
Advisory Board Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey
Member Author's Guild
Charter Member American Dance Therapy Association
Spouse(s)Harvey Fried
ChildrenJeffery Fried
Paula Fried, Ph. D
Marc Fried

Life and career


Born SuEllen Weissman on September 18, 1932 in St. Louis, Missouri, she graduated from University City High School in University City, MO in 1950. She studied at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, receiving a B.A. from Park University, in Parkville, MO in 1975 and an M.A. equivalency from the American Dance Therapy Association in 1996.

Fried was a member of the Dance Ensemble of the St. Louis Municipal Opera from 1949 through 1951. She also appeared in a party scene in Kansas City native Robert Altman's 1957 film The Delinquents.


Fried worked as a dance therapist for twenty years, and from 1961 to 1978, Fried was a volunteer dance and drama therapist at Osawatomie State Hospital in Kansas. In 1970 was appointed to President Richard Nixon's Task Force on the Mentally Handicapped. She was a consultant to the National Institute of Mental Health as well as the Center for Advanced Study and Continuing Education in Mental Health.

Fried's work with Dr. Karl Menninger led her to found STOP Violence in 1982, an organization that developed a program called Reaching Out From Within. This monthly program trained volunteers to teach prison inmates to change their violent language, actions and thoughts. As of 2004, it ran ten programs in seven Kansas Correctional facilities.[3][4]

The program has been effective, recording much lower recidivism rates among program participants than non-participating inmates. From a Huffington Post profile of Fried and Reaching Out From Within:

Over 40 percent of American prisoners released in 2004 returned to a state penitentiary within three years of being released, according to a 2011 Pew study. Among inmates who attend between 20 and 40 ROFW meetings, the recidivism rate drops to 23 percent, according to Fried, and it further decreases to just 8 percent among inmates who attend a minimum of 60 meetings.[5]

Abuse prevention work

Fried draws upon her dance therapy experience in her abuse prevention program, helping teach body awareness and how to adjust to others.[6]

Fried's seven "prevention principles" were defined in her book Bullies and Victims, and given the acronym SCRAPES:

  • Self-esteem and skill enrichment
  • Conflict resolution and mediation skills
  • Respect for differences
  • Anger management and assertiveness training
  • Problem solving skills
  • Empathy training
  • Sexuality awareness training.

Her books are intended for parents of children who have been bullied as well as those whose children may be bullies.[7] She and her co-authors attempt to offer practical suggestions for minimizing peer abuse, to teach about the harm caused by gossip and name-calling and to prevent an escalation to violence.[8]

In 2002, Fried founded BullySafeUSA, which has enabled her to work with more than 90,000 students, educators, councilors, administrators and parents in 36 states[9] Additionally, she and her organization are working to help reduce cyber-bullying on social networking sites and web pages.[10]


  • Bullies & Victims: Helping Your Children Through the Schoolyard Battlefield - 1996 (co-author Paula Fried, Ph. D)[11]
  • Bullies, Targets, and Witnesses: Helping Children Break the Pain Chain - 2004 (co-author Paula Fried, Ph. D)[12]
  • Banishing Bullying Behavior: Transforming the Culture of Pain, Rage and Revenge - 2009 (co-author Blanche Sosland, Ph. D)[13]
  • Banishing Bullying Behavior: Transforming the Culture of Peer Abuse - 2011 (revised second edition) (co-author Blanche Sosland, Ph. D)[14]
  • 30 Activities for Getting Better At Getting Along - 2011 (co-author Lynne Lang)[15]


  1. Perez Tobias, Suzanne (May 23, 2004). "Once every five minutes. Study finds surprising amount of bullying at younger ages". Sunday Gazette-Mail (Knight-Ridder)  via HighBeam Research (subscription required) . Archived from the original on March 29, 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2013. Fried travels the country giving workshops for students, educators and community leaders. She says children should be taught about bullying even before school.
  2. Schupmann, Melissa (Nov 28, 2012). "Crusader SuEllen Fried reaches out to end violence". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 1 March 2013. Her awards and honors could fill a page themselves. She was President George H.W. Bush’s 900th Point of Light in 1993
  3. Adler, Eric (February 7, 2004). "STOP Violence Volunteers Helping Felons Change". Yakima Herald-Republic  via HighBeam Research (subscription required) . Archived from the original on March 24, 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2013. Founded in 1982 by SuEllen Fried, the Kansas City author of "Bullies and Victims: Helping Your Child Through the Schoolyard Battlefield," STOP Violence operates 10 inmate programs in seven Kansas state prisons.
  4. Engel, Beverly (2001). The power of apology : healing steps to transform all your relationships. New York ; Chichester: Wiley. ISBN 978-0471218920. Retrieved 28 February 2013. Part of her program is to encourage children to apologize for making derogatory remarks to other children or for not sticking up for kids who are being bullied.
  5. Gregoire, Carolyn (September 16, 2013). "This 80-Year-Old Is Spreading Kindness And Hope In The Most Unlikely Place". Huffington Post. Retrieved 16 January 2014. Fried co-founded ROFW 30 years ago with a prison inmate as a way to offer help to prisoners who wanted to change their ways. The program's impact on recidivism rates has been enormous: Going through the program dramatically reduces the likelihood of an inmate repeating illegal behavior after being released from prison, Fried says. Over 40 percent of American prisoners released in 2004 returned to a state penitentiary within three years of being released, according to a 2011 Pew study. Among inmates who attend between 20 and 40 ROFW meetings, the recidivism rate drops to 23 percent, according to Fried, and it further decreases to just 8 percent among inmates who attend a minimum of 60 meetings.
  6. Roach, edited by Annelise Mertz ; with a foreword by Joseph (2002). The body can speak : essays on creative movement education with emphasis on dance and drama. Carbondale (Ill.): Southern Illinois university press. ISBN 9780809324187. In a recent book, Bullies and Victims, Fried identifies seven “prevention” principles (known by the acronym SCRAPES), all of which are assisted by dance/movement therapy intervention.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  7. Hunker, Paula Gray (May 12, 1998). "The other side: Helping bullies change behavior, for good of all". The Washington Times (Washington, DC). Retrieved 28 February 2013 via Questia Online Library. SuEllen Fried, who wrote "Bullies & Victims" with her daughter Paula, gives parents seven points to counteract bullying behavior.
  8. "The Torment that Students Suffer in Silence". The Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY)  via HighBeam Research (subscription required) . October 22, 1996. Archived from the original on April 15, 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2013. In the new book "Bullies & Victims," authors Suellen Fried and Paula Fried offer more practical suggestions. They say adults need to teach young people that name calling and gossip can be damaging, and that it can escalate to violence, by a bully or by a frustrated victim.
  9. Sosland, Blanche. "Camping Out Against Bullying". Phi Kappa Phi Forum. Summer 2011: 3. The Student Empowerment Session, developed in 1993 by my colleague and child advocate SuEllen Fried, would be an ideal tool for summer camps. This interactive strategy helps children learn about the pain inflicted by bullying and about how kindness and empathy help in banishing bullying. Fried has worked successfully with more than 90,000 students in 36 states using it.
  10. Rothschild, Scott (February 15, 2007). "Students seek law against bullies". Journal-World (Lawrence, Kansas)  via HighBeam Research (subscription required) . Archived from the original on March 8, 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2013. SuEllen Fried, of Prairie Village, a longtime mental health advocate who has written several books on bullying, said youngsters today are confronted with much worse bullying practices than in the past, including cyberbullying, where people write demeaning comments to children over the Internet. "It is just as serious as beating kids up in the playground," she said.
  11. Fried, SuEllen; Paula Fried (1996). Bullies and victims : helping your child survive the school yard battlefield. Unknown: M Evans And Co. ISBN 9780871318404.
  12. Fried, SuEllen; Paula Fried; Ph. D (2004). Bullies, targets and witnesses : helping children break the pain chain. [S.l.]: M Evans& Co Inc. ISBN 978-1590770566.
  13. Fried, SuEllen; Sosland, Blanche (2009). Banishing bullying behavior : transforming the culture of pain, rage, and revenge. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Education. ISBN 978-1607092216.
  14. Fried, SuEllen; Sosland, Blanche. Banishing bullying behavior : transforming the culture of peer abuse (2nd ed.). Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Education. ISBN 978-1610484336.
  15. Fried, SuEllen; Lang, Lynne (2005). 30 activities for getting better at getting along (1st ed.). St. Louis, MO: Imagine That Enterprises, L.C. ISBN 978-0972306737.
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