Teaching others, at all grade levels and even in colleges and universities, is a challenging task. In 1957, there was one physical assault on a teacher in New York City; in 2006 there were over 150. Educational standards and expectations have increased along with class sizes. It is estimated that the average teacher spends approximately $1,000.00 out of her or his own funds for classroom supplies.In spite of this, teachers continue to teach, students continue to learn, and the educational system struggles with decreased funds, increased federal and state outcome expectations, and in many cases increased acuity of need for those served in public and private schools. Emotional and behavioral disorders manifested by students continue to challenge the educational system, and safety of students and staff has become a major issue.

In his book “Characteristics of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders of Children and Youth” James Kauffman says:

“The most effective approaches to school-based prevention of anti-social behavior are proactive and instructive – planning ways to avoid failure and coercive struggles regarding both academic and social behavior and actively teaching students more adaptive, competent ways of behaving”

The Mandt System® provides a proactive and instructive approach which is based on interacting with people in non-coercive ways. Information from Northern Arizona University is used to define coercion and Positive Behavior Support.

As a result of using our program, over 500 schools have been able to:

  • Reduce the use of restraint
  • Reduce behavioral referrals
  • Increase time spent in the classroom
  • Facilitate the educational experiences of all students

In some state educational standards, Positive Behavior Support is presented as an approach that “applies a behaviorally-based approach that enhances the capability of educators and parents to design effective environments that support student learning and behavior.”

The standards specific to Michigan education law go on to say that “PBS emphasizes behavior that encourages learning by building relationships” as well as by “creating routines, teaching skills/rules/expectations, identifying replacement behaviors that interfere with learning, making problem behaviors less effective, efficient and relevant, and making the desired behavior more functional and adaptive.”

Learning takes place in the student


Education is in the relationship between teacher and student


Teaching takes place in the teacher


The Mandt System® teaches the use of principles from an approach known as “Invitational Education” to facilitate building healthy relationships in the educational environment. Simply put:

Violence in schools is a major concern of all stakeholders in the educational environment. In an article appearing in Educational Leadership in 1995, Larry Brendtro and Nicholas Long state that:

“The most powerful restraints on violent behavior are healthy human attachments”

It is our belief that education occurs in the context of the relationships between all of the adults in the educational environment. When the relationship between and among all of the adults is positive, and all people experience dignity and respect as relational realities, education not only happens, it takes root and students do more than learn, they are educated. For more information, please see http://www.invitationaleducation.net.

For every hour that we teach restraint, we spend three hours on prevention and two hours on de-escalation. If we can prevent an interaction between people from becoming an incident, we have increased the safety of all staff and all students. We know that if staff are in relationships with other staff where dignity and respect between the staff are evident that students feel safer. If staff feel and act safe with each other, then students are more likely to feel safe with the staff.

In order to “calm down” people must feel safe. If people do not feel safe, they will not calm down. Our program focuses first on building healthy relationships between staff at all levels of the organization, and then on being role models so the students can learn from us. They will learn much more from how we as staff behave towards each other and them than from what we teach in any curriculum.

The Mandt System® has three components in our training – Relational Skills, Conceptual Skills, and Technical Skills. Known as the “RCT” program, it is taught in a Train-the-Trainer format which takes consists of 4 full days of in-person training from 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Thursday plus the Conceptual Skills are completed on-line after the in-person training. The components of the course are:

    • Chapter 1 – Building Healthy Relationships focuses on understanding how to Recognize, Assess, Decide, Act and Review (use your RADAR) to prevent incidents from occurring. It also looks at the needs of people (Maslow´s Hierarchy of Needs) and understanding how people respond to stress.
    • Chapter 2 – Building Healthy Communication Skills provides training on how to more effectively communicate to (a) build health relationships, (b) prevent incidents, and (c) de-escalate incidents if they occur. Skills for de-escalating incidents are taught.
    • Chapter 3 – Building Healthy Conflict Resolution Skills teaches how to resolve conflict by communicating and building healthy relationships with each other. Skills for defusing conflicts and de-escalating situations are taught.
    • We recommend that the above 3 chapters be taught to students as a way of preparing them to become integrated into the community.
    • Chapter 4 – Trauma Informed Services is a sub-clinical training that gives staff an awareness of the effects of trauma on human beings. The chapter was written with the input of the National Technical Assistance Center and strives to help organizations create environments that do not re-traumatize individuals served.
    • Chapter 5 – Positive Behavior Support teaches staff how to implement behavior support strategies. It does not teach people how to write these plans. The primary source of information is Northern Arizona University.
    • Chapter 6 – Liability and Legal Issues provides an overview of the legal issues surrounding the prevention and, if needed, use of restraint.
    • Chapter 7 – Assisting and Supporting lays down the foundations for all of the physical skills utilized in The Mandt System®. The three components of all physical skills are: Stance and Balance, Body Mechanics and Movement, and Body Positioning. A reasonable ability to maintain balance under physical duress is required.
    • Chapter 8 – Separating (Escape and Evasion Techniques) addresses situations where people have been grabbed (hair, clothing, arm, attempted choke, bite) and teaches how to gain release while de-escalating and preventing injury.
    • Chapter 9 – Restraining – this chapter teaches how to restrain an individual if their behavior rises to the legal threshold whereby restraint is required and justified. The legal thresholds are discussed and presented.
    • Advanced Technical Skills teaches how to prevent, and if needed, respond to severe aggression and violence. It may not be needed in unlocked settings.
  • Experience
    The Mandt System® has over 33 years of experience in the provision of training to empower organizations to prevent and, if needed, use restraint to ensure the safety of all individuals. 
Over 500 schools in the US and Canada use The Mandt System®, ranging from large cities such as Houston, Calgary, and Virginia Beach to smaller rural schools in Alaska, British Columbia, and Idaho. Following is a list of states and provinces in which schools utilize The Mandt System®:
    British Columbia
    New Hampshire
    New Mexico
    New York
    North Carolina
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina
    West Virginia

    Members of the Training Faculty of The Mandt System, Inc. have experience teaching at the local school level as well as at the university level. Four of our faculty members have published research based articles in peer reviewed journals, and have advanced degrees.
  • When comparing our program with others, one of the factors will be cost. Please note that The Mandt System® does not charge for any training materials, student manuals, certificate, etc. There are no additional charges beyond the initial certification fee of $1,425.00 (US Funds). We provide, at no charge, each trainer with:
    • Access to Instructor Resource Center containing the Student Manual, a PowerPoint™ slide presentation with over 240 slides that can be used to teach all of the non-physical chapters (1 through 7) to students.
    • A Trainer Manual containing icons to tell the Trainer when to use the PowerPoint™ slides, when to do an activity, and trainer tips.
    • Access to the Trainer Support section of the Mandt System® web site, containing video clips of all physical skills to ensure training fidelity, update information on the manual, and a Trainer Forum to facilitate communication between the over 3,800 active trainers in the US and Canada.