This article, written by Dr. Becki Cohn-Vargas, originally appeared in the June/July 2012 California State PTA newsletter. Not In Our Town has partnered with CAPTA to work together to address bullying and intolerance in schools throughout California. Dr. Cohn-Vargas is the director of Not In Our School and an experienced educator.
Not In Our School wishes to thank all of the students who submitted artwork to the 2012 Not In Our School Class Actions Campaign Art Contest. We had more than 40 submissions this year from students all across the country!
All the pieces demonstrated the creativity and imagination of the artists who made them. Six students’ unique designs stood out for their ability to clearly translate the words “Not In Our School” into visually-striking images with a message of inclusion.
"We were at a football game where everyone is cheering and the spirits are fairly high and these words began to echo. So what's the meaning of those words? How do I interpret those words? How do I feel about those particular words, 'The South will rise again'?
I'm a Southerner, Daddy was a Southerner, my Granddaddy, etc. And of course, the South in its heyday had individuals likened to me in slavery type of conditions."
"Sshh, the University of Mississippi is being integrated," they said, and I remember glancing at the television set and seeing mean faces. I remember very, very angry people, and I simply remember saying to myself, "I would never go to a place like that.”
—Dr. Donald Cole, Assistant Provost, University of Mississippi, on learning about the integration of the university in 1962.
"Part of the motivation of these attacks is to isolate those who they are attacking. To make the victims feel victimized. But thanks to the response of Bloomington United and the community we are made to feel that this is an attack not only on us but the values of the whole community." —Bloomington, Indiana resident
"Our students have become activists, often times they don't have to tell on anyone for bullying, they just handle it themselves, they intervene themselves. You'll walk around this campus and you'll hear kids saying, 'Hey, not in our school.' It's our theme and they live it."
"My hope is progress because with all the things that we’ve done with One Mississippi—like we took a stand against the KKK when they came and the chant, and we’re trying to change the way people think about Ole Miss—I hope we continue to do the right thing."