Blog

December 13, 2013 - 7:26pm
Originally published in One Voice, the official blog of the National PTA. By Becki Cohn-Vargas, Not In Our School Director You could hardly blame me for thinking of the past two years as proof that humanity is doomed and deserves it. That’s what I told myself as I thought back on some of the recent horrors: schoolchildren massacred in Newtown, Connecticut. Movie watchers mowed down in Aurora, Colorado. Sikh worshipers murdered in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Gang rapes in broad daylight. Not to mention that after the bombings in Boston, people are afraid to go out to cheer for a marathon. I could...
December 12, 2013 - 5:47pm
By Becki Cohn-Vargas, Not In Our School Director Recently, a group of Not In Our School student leaders in Soledad, California shared with me an anti-bullying video they made to show at their high school. The video dramatized a fictional girl who was cyberbullied and ended up stabbing herself to death in the nurse’s office. I asked them why they felt they needed to highlight suicide when they were appealing to their peers to stop bullying. “Kids today are used to high school drama,” they told me. “And besides, they won’t listen to us if we just talk about ‘not bullying’.” With something as...
December 9, 2013 - 7:55pm
  This post originally appeared on the ACLU of Northern California's Blog. By Jory Steele Like many people around the world, Nelson Mandela is one of my greatest heroes.  I was incredibly fortunate to move to South Africa several months before he was elected the first democratic president of South Africa.  I was coming of age, just as South Africa was transforming itself.  It was a magical, hopeful time, and Nelson Mandela was at the center of it.  His smile had the power to light the world, and he used his gentle, yet unbending strength to bring down an unjust regime and build a democratic...
December 6, 2013 - 9:11pm
Agender Teen Seeks to Move Forward Sasha Fleischman, a Berkeley high school student who was severely burned while riding the bus, returned to their Oakland home on November 27. Sasha, who identifies as agender, preferring the pronoun “they”, was targeted for wearing a skirt. The 16-year-old suspect now faces hate crime charges as an adult. In an interview with ABC news, Fleishman exuded warmth and clarity, speaking out for the first time since the harmful occurrence. With a desire to move forward, Sasha spoke about the suspect with the news station. “They probably didn’t realize how big of...
December 5, 2013 - 8:16pm
Photo Courtesy of The New York Times Nelson Mandela, the globally recognized champion of human rights, helped to shape his nation, the African continent, and the entire world. His work of bringing community together against hatred and intolerance aligns perfectly with the mission of Not In Our Town, and he will continue to serve as inspiration for us along with countless others. Mandela grew up in a society which considered him, at best, a second-class citizen. Apartheid--literally, “apartness” in Afrikaans--was the law, a system which favored the small minority of white South Africans. The...

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