Not in Our School | Not in Our Town

Not in Our School

About NIOS

Not In Our School highlights and creates networks of schools working to be safe, accepting and inclusive, and free of bullying and all forms of intolerance. Find films, lesson plans and campaign guides for your school.

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  •   Tadashi Nakamura is a 30 year old, fourth-generation Japanese American and second-generation filmmaker. Besides carrying on his...
  •   During a dance performance on stage, Jackie Rotman's music suddenly stopped. In response, members of the audience joined Jackie on stage...
  • A Community Rocked by Hate is Awakened and Transformed The documentary Waking In Oak Creek profiles a suburban town rocked by hate after six...
  •   Vajra Watson founded SAYS: Sacramento Area Youth Speaks to give young people a voice through hip hop and spoken word. “We underestimate...
  • Republished from ChampionsofUnity.org. Find the original here.  Charlotta A. Bass stands among the most influential African Americans of the...
  • In 1995, Azim Khamisa's 20-year-old son, Tariq, was delivering a pizza when he was shot to death by a 14-year-old gang member. Experiencing the pain...
  • As a former pro football player, Brian Cox understands the value of teamwork and community in achieving a goal. After retiring from the NFL, Cox came...
  • Palo Alto High School student Kevin Ward challenges the stereotype of African-Americans as "gangsters," and says that "smart is the new gangster."...
  • In this new video geared toward elementary schools, students from Grimmer Elementary School in Fremont, CA explore the impact of bullying and...
  •   The son of Filipino immigrants, Laurence Tan was studying to be a doctor when the vision of becoming a teacher presented itself in a dream...
  • Facing History and Ourselves combats racism, antisemitism, and religious prejudice by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe.
  • Each school’s anti-bullying efforts contribute new and exciting ideas to share with others. Read how Abbott Middle School in San Mateo, CA has created a Campus Climate Committee with a range of exciting and interactive activities. As part of this work, Abbott teachers have also made a “promise” to support their students. Abbott has embarked upon a spirited campaign to decrease bullying, and more to the point, create a community of citizens that value treating one another with respect and empathy.
  •   The son of Filipino immigrants, Laurence Tan was studying to be a doctor when the vision of becoming a teacher presented itself in a dream. Now a fifth grade teacher in Watts, CA, Laurence uses the tool of TEACH to inspire and educate students in an area where opportunities are slim. Laurence has also helped establish the Watts Youth Collective with former students, an organization that promotes social change through media. Laurence’s 12-hour teaching days and his work with the collective are efforts to produce positive changes in each individual and the community.
  •   "We are all Americans in this country." —Fred Korematsu (1919-2005) When Japanese-Americans were sent to camps during World War II, Fred Korematsu refused to go, saying, "I am an American." His 40-year fight became a symbol of equality and freedom. On January 30, 2011, California celebrated its first Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution marking the 69th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 that legalized the internment.
  • Gunn High School in the Palo Alto Unified School District has held a Not In Our School campaign at their school for nearly a decade. The objective of the weeklong campaign is to “promote acceptance, awareness and identity within the PAUSD community” and “to help the Gunn community increase understanding and encourage discussion about the diversity and race relations Gunn.”
  • The Public Service Announcement (PSA), “Break Bullying,” depicts adults in an office environment re-enacting the director’s personal bullying experience from middle school. His point: If we would not stand for this in the office, why do we stand for it happening to kids in schools?  It is a call to action for everyone to take bullying seriously. Students and teachers alike are reporting visceral responses to the PSA. You will hear a few bleeps—but those bleeps, unedited, are what kids experience daily in their schools.
  • In this new video geared toward elementary schools, students from Grimmer Elementary School in Fremont, CA explore the impact of bullying and ways to be an upstander. 
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  • From Facing History teacher Julie Mann, who is screening the full-length documentary Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness with her students at Newcomers High School in Queens, NY.   There are two documents. The first begins discussion using several short clips available on NIOT.org: the Light in the Darkness trailer, Joselo's Journey Part 1, Raising the Curtain on Unity and Embracing Differences, all of which can be found here. 
  • The video, "Lancaster, California: A City United to End School Bullying," profiles students, educators and community members working to create change after two teen suicides, resulting from bullying, devastate two nearby towns. In the aftermath, a local middle school counselor initiates an anti-bullying program throughout the district and students take the lead in standing up to bullying and intolerance in their schools and community. 
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  •  Description: This video provides a brief overview of the purpose and goals of NIOS. It includes brief interviews with Patrice O’Neill, founder of NIOT and other NIOS leaders and offers examples from schools that have taken action to end bias, harassment, bullying and create safer school environments.
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  • As a former pro football player, Brian Cox understands the value of teamwork and community in achieving a goal. After retiring from the NFL, Cox came back to his native Los Angeles, witnessing the destruction that gang violence had wrought on his old neighborhood. As an administrator for the Parks Department, Cox became the director of the South Park Recreation Center and began efforts to improve the park. Through the common bond of football and community, Cox and his supporters led a campaign to improve the park to create a safe space for youth to gather and practice sports. Eventually gaining the trust of the community, Cox has transformed the park from a gang hangout to a vibrant family destination, improving the surrounding neighborhood at the same time. This lesson addresses the following SEL strategies and you can have students look for these issues and examine them in themselves.
  • In 1995, Azim Khamisa's 20-year-old son, Tariq, was delivering a pizza when he was shot to death by a 14-year-old gang member. Experiencing the pain, grief, frustration, and anger that a parent would, Azim decided that the only way he could better the situation was to use the tool of FORGIVE to ensure that this type of tragedy happens less frequently in the future. After meeting with the father of the boy who shot Tariq, Azim decided that he would bring his message of forgiveness and mutual respect to groups of young people all over the country. The foundation in his son's memory, the Tariq Khamisa Foundation, raises awareness and engages youth to resist a culture of violence and learn to live in harmony with one another. This lesson addresses the following SEL strategies and you can have students look for these issues and examine them in themselves.
  •   Este video destaca una actividad interactiva llamada “Disolviendo estereotipos.” Se puede usar de manera efectiva con alumnos o adultos para explorar experiencias que han tenido en relación con los estereotipos y palabras hirientes, así como formas para “disolver” el daño causado. Nivel de edad: Cuarto grado hasta el bachillerato, adultos Materiales: papel de arroz (suficientes hojas para todos los participantes) marcadores solubles en agua contenedores chicos llenos de agua Instrucciones:
  •   En este video los estudiantes de Grimmer Elementary School en Fremont, California exploran el impacto del acoso escolar o “bullying” y modos de ser una persona que defiende a las víctimas del acoso escolar o de ser un Defensor o “Upstander”. Estudiantes de grado intermedio comparten experiencias personales, deciden tomar acción e inventan la actividad “Deja una huella positiva” en la que pintan huellas azules sobre las que escriben mensajes positivos que van “caminando” por toda su escuela. Posteriormente, trabajan con los estudiantes de primer grado para que aprendan cómo luchar contra el acoso escolar. Juntos hacen plantillas de papel en forma de huellas en las que los estudiantes menores crean sus propios mensajes “defensores” o “upstanders” para ponerlos por toda la escuela. Instrucciones:
  •   "We are all Americans in this country." —Fred Korematsu (1919-2005) When Japanese-Americans were sent to camps during World War II, Fred Korematsu refused to go, saying, "I am an American." His 40-year fight became a symbol of equality and freedom. On January 30, 2011, California celebrated its first Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution marking the 69th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 that legalized the internment. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld charges against Korematsu in 1944 and it would take nearly 40 years for his charges to be formally overturned. Korematsu said, "It was a great victory for all Americans and all Asians in this country, that this will never happen again."

School Groups

Across the country, NIOS groups are creating new ways to make their schools safe for everyone. Start your own NIOS group page, and share how you're standing up for acceptance and inclusion!