"As a licensed specialist in school psychology, I have worked with a broad spectrum of students at all grade levels, where social skills, teasing, bullying and harassment are everyday issues. The students I work with are acutely sensitive to their peers and may be devastated by remarks or actions that adults see as minor; that certainly don’t rise to meet the definition of bullying requiring schools to take formal disciplinary action.

Yet students are the ones who not only are targeted, but who see others targeted as well. However active the staff is in taking action, they are often unaware of incidents that do occur, given student reluctance to report. The primary reason I have been given by students for not reporting is the fear of becoming victims themselves. They are also afraid of being hurt, of getting into trouble, and being seen as tattlers.

'Stand by Me' came from a desire to support the students who were victims, to activate the students who were bystanders and unsure of what to do, and to offer even the bullies a chance for leadership in a supportive and caring community. It also came from the desire to give administrators ways to respond outside the formal disciplinary system. Using data collected by Stand by Me members, administrators can analyze these incidents on their campuses and respond by changing staffing patterns, pre-emptive planning, and brainstorming with the students themselves. Together we can make a difference." - Christine Cohen, Ph.D., L.S.S.P.


Dr. Christine Cohen is a Licensed Psychologist and Licensed Specialist in School Psychology who received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas. She has worked in private practice, and, for 19 years, full-time in public schools. Designing and implementing programming for students with autism spectrum disorders, grades PK-12, she became acutely aware of how easily students can target each other. She developed "Stand by Me" to provide an immediate and school-wide support system for all students. She is currently President of East Texas Educational Contracting, P.C., providing contracted assessment and behavior intervention for multiple school districts.


  • 1996 Licensed Specialist in School Psychology
  • 1986 Licensed Psychologist


  • Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology; University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas, Southwestern Medical Center (1984)
  • B.A. in Psychology; Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX. (1974)

Interview with Dr. Christine Cohen