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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  •   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...
  •   Dr. Joseph Marshall Jr. is an author, activist, and veteran street soldier. Founder of the anti-violence movement Alive & Free,...
  •   "Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person...
  •   Chukou Thao, executive director of National Hmong American Farmers, immigrated to Fresno, CA with his family at age 8, after Laotian...
  •   Slater Jewell-Kemker is a 17-year-old filmmaker and reporter who celebrates the best of humanity, empowering young people to change the...
  •   SUGGESTED QUESTIONS FOR STUDENTS AFTER READING THE CHRISTMAS MENORAHS, VIEWING NOT IN OUR TOWN, OR VIEWING OR PERFORMING PAPER CANDLES....
  •   Kiki is an extraordinary Sacramento student who, through her perseverance, strong character, and ability to forgive, has been able to...
  •     After being bullied for his small size and pitch of his voice, DeMonte Smith decided to join Safe School Ambassadors at his...
  •   On the anniversary of the American Disabilities Act, a group of disability rights advocates march in solidarity to assert their rights as...
  •  Description: This video provides a brief overview of the purpose and goals of NIOS. It includes brief interviews with Patrice O’Neill,...
  • Three Films Produced and Directed by Sikh Youth
  • 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. 
  •   Slater Jewell-Kemker is a 17-year-old filmmaker and reporter who celebrates the best of humanity, empowering young people to change the world with media and technology. Through her work, Slater has empowered a global network of young environmentalists and met with important trendsetters and lawmakers. By using the tool of EXPRESS, Slater and the youth that join her are creating positive social change. This lesson addresses the following Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) strategies and you can have students look for these issues and examine them in themselves. Self-awareness: Slater is confident in her own abilities and is therefore able to talk to all sorts of different people. Self-management: Slater started filmmaking from an early age and realizes that although she is young and sometimes not taken seriously she doesn’t let it stop her from being a prominent voice of change for her generation.
  •   Chukou Thao, executive director of National Hmong American Farmers, immigrated to Fresno, CA with his family at age 8, after Laotian citizens were granted asylum in the US after the Vietnam war. Many of the first Hmong farmers suffered from discrimination, so Thao left his "cushy" job at the city of Fresno to ORGANIZE his community in a fight against injustice. Using the experiences of community members, Thao has grown NHAF to promote economic development, training and assistance to create positive social change in his community. This lesson addresses the following Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) strategies and you can have students look for these issues and examine them in themselves. Self-awareness: Chukou Thao recognizes the injustice happening to the Hmong community and realizes that he has the ability to help fight for those that are unable to speak for themselves.
  •   "Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. And you cannot oppress a people who are not afraid anymore. We are the future, and the future is ours." Erica Fernandez has memorized these words, originally spoken by Cesar Chavez, and put them into action. Beginning in Oxnard, CA, Erica used the power of PROTEST to rally against a large energy corporation that planned to erect a liquefied natural gas (LNG) pipeline around affluent California coastal communities and through Oxnard, primarily occupied by monolingual Spanish-speaking immigrants. Not only would the LNG pipeline cut through the agricultural land vital to the economy of Oxnard, it would bring millions of tons of pollutants to one of the most beautiful areas in California.
  •   Tadashi Nakamura is a 30 year old, fourth-generation Japanese American and second-generation filmmaker. Besides carrying on his parents’ work—his mother is writer/producer Karen L. Ishizuka and his father is director Robert A. Nakamura—Nakamura seeks to tell his community’s history to a new generation. The first film of the trilogy was Yellow Brotherhood (2003), a personal documentary focused on the meaning of friendship and community through the Yellow Brotherhood youth organization, which was formed in the 1960s to combat youth drug use. With A Song for Ourselves, his third film, Nakamura depicts his homage to the important early Asian-American Movement and passes on its passion in the hopes of inspiring young people to continue to work—and sing—for social justice. This lesson addresses the following Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) strategies. You can have students look for these issues and examine them in themselves
  •   During a dance performance on stage, Jackie Rotman's music suddenly stopped. In response, members of the audience joined Jackie on stage and began dancing to show their support. Expanding on the idea that dance can help foster a positive atmosphere, Jackie began providing hip-hop classes free of charge to youth that would not otherwise be able to afford them. Now with 10 chapters across the country, Everybody Dance Now! is a nonprofit organization that aims to transform the lives of youth through dance, leadership, and community. This lesson addresses the following Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) strategies. You can have students look for these issues and examine them in themselves.
  •   A Community Rocked by Hate is Awakened and Transformed The documentary Waking In Oak Creek profiles a suburban town rocked by hate after six worshippers at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin are killed by a white supremacist. In the year following the attack, the mayor and police chief lead the community as they forge new bonds with their Sikh neighbors. Young temple members and a police lieutenant, shot 17 times in the attack, inspire thousands to gather for events and honor the victims. After one of the deadliest hate crime attacks in recent U.S. history, the film highlights a community and law enforcement working together to overcome tragedy, stand up to hate, and create a safe town for all. * Request a free DVD copy of the film by clicking here.   
  •   Vajra Watson founded SAYS: Sacramento Area Youth Speaks to give young people a voice through hip hop and spoken word. “We underestimate young people,” Vajra says. "They're ready to grab the mic. Are we ready to listen?" This lesson addresses the following SEL strategies and you can have students look for these issues and examine them in themselves. Self-awareness: Poetry and spoken word are ways to build self-awareness in youth. Social awareness: Vajra helps students become aware of social justice issues through the SAYS program.
  • Republished from ChampionsofUnity.org. Find the original here.  Charlotta A. Bass stands among the most influential African Americans of the twentieth century. A crusading journalist and extraordinary political activist, she was at the forefront of the civil rights struggles of her time, especially in Los Angeles, but also in California and the nation. Teachers can use Bass as an inspirational example of fighting for non-violence and equality, with the following lesson plan and activity. 

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!