Scared Stiff Curriculum

The Association of Midnight Basketball League Programs

The San Francisco Midnight Basketball League Program


“ SCARED STIFF “ Basic Curriculum


Designed by Lawrence C. Gray, Jr., M.Ed.

CEO/President of A.M.B.L.P.,Inc.

September 2007 ©

Introduction :

The key concept in the SCARED STIFF curriculum is the notion of GUN VIOLENCE prevention. GUN VIOLENCE has become a CANCER in our communities.

“ SCARED STIFF “, is a program under the umbrella of the Association of Midnight Basketball League Programs Inc. “ SCARED STIFF “ was instituted to collaborate with a diverse group of persons to explore and implement solutions that will reverse the escalation of GUN VIOLENCE plaguing San Francisco and the Bay Area with particular emphasis on the Fillmore/ Western Addition community.

In collaboration with concerned Religious Leaders, Public Officials, Parents, and other Concerned Citizens and other Community Members.

The Program seeks to :

  • Search for solutions to curtail GUN VIOLENCE in the Fillmore/ Western Addition District of San Francisco, and other areas of San Francisco.
  • Provide a CANDID and GRAPHIC look at the toll that GUN VIOLENCE takes on the Community and its Inhabitants
  • Create a TEAM of Professionals and Community members to work with the area teens and young adults to implement solutions
  • Create avenues that promote positive social goals and self esteem
  • Train and employ teens and young adults as an opportunity to achieve self-actualization
  • Enrich the Cultural and Moral life of the Community through exposure to Positive examples
  • Increase program participant’s knowledge, appreciation and understanding their rich History, Culture, and Heritage.

The “ SCARED STIFF “ Program provides support through educational opportunities by offering Counseling and Mentoring of youth and young adults; through workshops, through information and referral services for employment, health education, social services, mental health concerns, and general assistance: and through panel discussions, presentations and videos that address the concept of the negative effects of violence and the alternatives that are available. “ SCARED STIFF “ educates and sensitizes those students most likely to become victims of urban Gun Violence. In hopes of providing them the opportunity to not look casually to GUN VIOLENCE as an acceptable means of resolving.

The target audience recognizes that GUN VIOLENCE in urban America claims the lives of 10 – 12 youth every day. Those teens most likely to commit GUN- related acts of violence are the youth identified as “ at-risk “ based on their home, school, and social lives. It is not enough to grab attention to insure real behavior change in at-risk youth. Something more is needed to insure that the “ SCARED STIFF “ message sinks in for the long term.

The programs current population consists of the following:

  • High School Students from San Francisco, and around the bay area
  • Middle School Students
  • Alternative Schools
  • Youth on probation
  • Parents of Murdered Youth
  • Victims of GUN VIOLENCE


Implementation of a core curriculum will involve the use of video, group discussion, field trips, theatrical and music productions and written booklets. The booklet format will be the primary handout given to mentors to discuss and pass on to mentees. Mentees will also be given an additional copy to share with their parents. The curriculum will be structured so that it can easily be integrated into becoming a regular part of schools’ curriculum.

Central to every topic is the setting of all- encompassing goals and objectives. In fact, mentors will be trained to engage the mentee in discussions of his/her life goals once bonding has occurred. The mentor’s goal at that point will be to assist the mentee with developing written goals and objectives.

There will be a strong mentor support system in place to assist mentors with issues and problems encountered during their assignments. The anticipated training model will provide clear directions on how to implement a global concept of mentoring, encompassing a holistic community/family approach to development.


1. 100% of participants will be made aware of the devastating impact of GUN VIOLENCE in the community.

2. 85% of students participating in, both Component 1 and 2, will improve management of anger and conflict resolution skills using appropriate non- violent approaches.

3. 100% of students participating in Components 1 and 2 will receive training on acceptance of personal responsibility.

4. 100% of students participating in Components 1 and 2 will receive individualized life skills development training, which will include: effective decision making, goal setting, etc.

5. 100% of participants will be made aware of ways to improve police- community relations as it relates to youth issues.


Pilot programs, in particular Component 2 portion of program, will be closely evaluated to determine that the planned community intervention model is achieving its goals. The planned evaluation includes three components:

1. Data collected at workshops:

  • Number of students being served
  • Participant demographic information

2. Participating school personnel to assess the impact of the program on the school’s social climate.

3. Demonstrations and video presentations

4. Student, parents, school personnel questionnaires.

Program Goals:

Specific outcomes for this program are:

  • To have participants become aware of the many faces of GUN VIOLENCE in a
  • To share the real ramifications of gun play in the community.
  • To have participants become aware of our responsibility to work together and
  • To teach participants strategies for intervening in student interactions that
  • To make a dedication to maintain and promote a safe and violence free living school and the community.
  • Support one another as a team in order to create safe communities and schools.
  • Contribute to an unsafe school and community culture.
  • Environment.

Program Components/Phases

Component/Phase 1

Working within the time constraints of the academic needs and requirements of Students participating in this program, this program is conducted as an on-site  student workshop for a six to nine week period per cycle.

Component/Phase 2

The proposed mentoring efforts will be a structured program providing a curriculum that will place emphasis on positive methods for conflict resolution, career exploration/job readiness, academic assistance, community service, interpersonal skill development, and character building. This component will reinforce the message to youth that they have choices and options. Mentoring is a one- to- one relationship between mentor and mentee.

Mentors offer support, guidance, and assistance as a role model, buddy, and friend. The goal is to have the mentee identify with the mentors during their experience and, consequently, become more able to do for themselves. Students will learn to choose their future independent of current life circumstances. They will be taught how to apply goals, make commitment, solve problems, prioritize their life choices, build trust, and work in teams. More importantly, they will learn that there is no honor in senseless violent death and that the real honor is in the success that can be achieved by the living.

SESSION A : Introduction of Program to students and community. 

This session will provide the participants, and community with an understanding of the affects of Gun Violence on the community.

Title: How Gun Violence Affects Our Community.

1. Welcome

2. Introduction and History

3. Video Presentation: Destruction of Handguns.

4. Introduction of Panel:

a. Lt. Con Johnson, San Francisco Police Dept./ Northern Station

b. Capt. John Cavanaugh, San Francisco Fire Department/ EMT-P

c. Rev. Cordell Hawkins, Director of Victim Services, SF District Attorney

d. Dr. Andre Campbell, Chief of Staff, San Francisco General Hospital

e. Clarence Preston, General Manager/ Embalmer, Albert Brown Mortuary

f. Dr. Arthur Hall, Westside Community Mental Health Center

g. Family Representatives: Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Aunt, Uncle of a

h. Gun shot victim.

i. Gun Shot Survivor.

5. Youth Mortuary Tour: Funeral Director/ Embalmer.

6. Questions and Answer Period:

7. Closing Remarks.

8. Parting View.

9. Refreshments.

SESSION B : Funeral Planning: Funeral Counselors.

This session will provide the participants with an understanding of funeral planning and obituary making.

Title: How to plan a funeral for your love one(s), or Friend(s).

1. Welcome: Funeral Counselor.

2. Brief introduction of Counselor

3. Explain the workshop and what will take place.

4. Divide up into workable groups

5. Pass out all necessary forms to start the funeral planning.

6. Give each group a SCENARIO to put together an obituary( to see how different they will be. – “ SCARED STIFF “ volunteers will be part of the groups. )

7. Group Discussions about Funeral and Obituary Planning.

8. Reading of the Obituary by each group.

9. Planning of the actual “ Mock “ Double Funeral.

10. Thank the participants for their hard work addressing these difficult issues and their participation in the workshop.

11. Mock Funeral. ( put on by the participants )

SESSION C: Conflict Management: Mental Health Staff and Health Dept. Staff.

This session will provide the participants with an understanding of conflict, and its role in Title: Conflict Resolution Strategies- Conflict is a normal part of life. We all have occasional conflicts, even with people we love. But we shouldn’t let little conflicts turn into big fights, especially violent ones.

1. Develop Real Life Examples:

a. Identify incidents/ conflicts that ended in violence to be used in the workshop.

b. Conflict Resolution Strategies:

  • Set the basis for the incident. Let them know that the more information about the factors that lead to the violence / conflict will provide a better background to apply the techniques.
  • Tell the other person what’s bothering you- but do it nicely.
  • Don’t let your emotions take control.
  • Listen to the other person.
  • Try to understand how the other person is feeling.
  • No name calling or insults.
  • No hitting.
  • Don’t yell or raise your voice.
  • Look for a compromise.
  • And, if all else fails, ask somebody else to help or leave the situation!

2. Apply Conflict Resolution Strategies to the Real Life Examples.

  • How do you tell the other person what’s bothering you?
  • How do you avoid letting your emotions take control?
  • How do you ensure that the other person knows that you are listening?
  • What is the other person feeling?
  • What do you do if they, the other person, start name calling or insulting you?
  • Do you yell or raise your voice?
  • Is there an appropriate compromise?
  • If all else fails, do you ask somebody else to help? Who do you ask?
  • Or is this a conflict that has escalated to the point that the only option is to leave the situation?

3. Conclusion:

1. Questions.

2. Review conflict resolution strategies.

3. Announce time/location of next workshop.

4. Thank the attendees for their hard work addressing these difficult issues and their participation in the workshop.

5. Adjournment.

6. Refreshments.

SESSION D: Motivational Speaker ; Speaker will be chosen by the “ SCARED STIFF “ staff.

The speaker will give the participants a view of themselves as far as: they can be anything they want to be if they apply themselves. Hard work never hurt anyone. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

1. Introduction of Speaker: Staff that arranged the speaker.

a. Background

b. Reason for involvement in “ SCARED STIFF

c. Questions and Answer session

d. Announce time/location of the next workshop.

e. Thank the attendees for their attention and the respect given to the speaker.

f. Adjournment.

g. Refreshments.

SESSION E: Youth and Community Forum; Youth and Panel will facilitate the workshop.

Title: What did I learn from the workshops and which of the speakers had The greatest influence on me?

1. What was said by whom? ( participants will answer that question )

2. Tell Public Officials what you need in your community to feel safe. ( participants and other community residents )

3. A video or power point presentation.

4. Question and Answer Session.

5. Give out certificates to all participants that was involved in the “ SCARED STIFF “ program.( special award for perfect attendance )

6. Closing Remarks—“ SCARED STIFF “ Staff.

7. Parting View: Mortuary Staff.

8. Refreshments.

Group will attend each session as a class. Sessions will meet two times a month. After group has completed all five sessions. A new group will come in to go through the five sessions. Depending on the number of participants, will determine the number of times we will hold the workshops per month.

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