Blog | Not in Our Town


May 21, 2014 - 12:01pm
Alton McSween, a former NFL player, teacher, and sports coach, now applies the Restorative Justice principles he learned at San Quentin in his local community and schools. Restorative Justice is now being used in schools as an alternative to suspensions and expulsions because zero tolerance policies have proven to be ineffective. McSween said the Restorative Justice process brings the perpetrator of harm together with others in “talking circle”  and or support group, to reflect on what has happened, speak about the wrongs that have been done, and take steps to make amends.
May 19, 2014 - 4:45pm, the digital home of Not In Our Town's films and resources as well as our community, school and law enforcement programs, just got a new look!  
May 9, 2014 - 3:34pm
The San Jose State University-appointed task force assigned to study discrimination in the school’s dorms has issued a list of recommendations to improve diversity and inclusion in their on-campus community, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The task force was established in the wake of a series of incidents against a black student by his three dormmates, who are now being charged with hate crime offenses. The roommates’ alleged abuse included referring to the student by a racist nickname, putting up a Confederate flag in the dorm, and barricading him in his room after they fastened a bike lock to his neck. Three of the four students involved in the alleged abuse have been expelled. 
May 7, 2014 - 4:51pm
Lockhart Elementary School teacher Joanne Saunders has worked tirelessly to help the students in her school take action to both prevent violence and bullying and to create kindness. We learned about Joanne’s great work in St. Thomas, the Virgin Islands, through Not In Our School’s Facebook page. We thought it would be wonderful to create an interchange between Lockhart School and Duveneck school in Palo Alto, CA, where Not In Our School (NIOS) activities have also been expanding. We were thrilled to hear the partnership has begun and continues. Read how one school proactively is addressing ways to reduce youth violence. Their Facebook page tells the wonderful story of their efforts. —Dr. Becki Cohn-Vargas, Not In Our School Director
May 2, 2014 - 2:19pm
By Dr. Becki Cohn-VargasNot In Our School Director In a recent NIOT blog, we shared how student leaders from the Not In Our School anti-bullying campaign at Marshalltown High School in Iowa were the ones who spoke up and averted a school shooting. In this four-part series, we will explore the issues of school violence, show one elementary school's activities to stop school violence and offer a two-part exploration of the restorative justice model, a promising strategy for interrupting and ending cycles of violence. Youth Violence Adults distinguish between brutal teasing, bullying, fighting, and a school shooting, but all these behaviors are part of a continuum of youth violence. Behaviors on this continuum can easily escalate.