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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  •   Vajra Watson founded SAYS: Sacramento Area Youth Speaks to give young people a voice through hip hop and spoken word. “We underestimate...
  •   On the anniversary of the American Disabilities Act, a group of disability rights advocates march in solidarity to assert their rights as...
  • 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...
  •   SUGGESTED QUESTIONS FOR STUDENTS AFTER READING THE CHRISTMAS MENORAHS, VIEWING NOT IN OUR TOWN, OR VIEWING OR PERFORMING PAPER CANDLES....
  •   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...
  •   Kiki is an extraordinary Sacramento student who, through her perseverance, strong character, and ability to forgive, has been able to...
  •   On the anniversary of the American Disabilities Act, a group of disability rights advocates march in solidarity to assert their rights as...
  • 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...
  •   SUGGESTED QUESTIONS FOR STUDENTS AFTER READING THE CHRISTMAS MENORAHS, VIEWING NOT IN OUR TOWN, OR VIEWING OR PERFORMING PAPER CANDLES....
  •   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...
  •   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...
  •   How To Start Your Own Anti-Bullying White-Out Download as PDF By Catherine, Watchung Hills Regional High School student, Watchung, NJ...
  •   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...
  •   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...
  •   SUGGESTED QUESTIONS FOR STUDENTS AFTER READING THE CHRISTMAS MENORAHS, VIEWING NOT IN OUR TOWN, OR VIEWING OR PERFORMING PAPER CANDLES. By Janice I. Cohn Fighting Bullies         The residents of Billings stood up to bullies despite the risks.
  •   The Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF) is an artistic collective based in Sacramento, California.  It was founded in 1969 to express the goals of the Chicano civil rights and labor organizing movement of the United Farm Workers. Its mission was to make available to the Chicano community a bilingual/bicultural arts center where artists could come together, exchange ideas, provide mutual support, and make available to the public artistic, cultural, and educational programs and events.
  • In this video, students use role-playing scenarios to depict experiences with prejudice or name-calling and practice effective interventions to combat or stop the bullying or harassment. This process can be an effective tool to use with students in your own classroom and school. Please use the guidelines below and review the “Note of Caution” to ensure a positive and productive experience.
  •  Overview:
  •   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.
  •   At age 12, Aitan Grossman was inspired by An Inconvenient Truth and began a journey that led him to use music to advocate for the preservation of the natural landscape around him. He wrote a song, “100 Generations,” and started his own non-profit to raise funds for wildlife conservation. His goals were to raise awareness, have students from many countries record his song, and inspire young people that at any age, they could make a difference.
  • Engaging students in dialogue about prejudice and discrimination is a very powerful tool in combating hate and bullying and ensuring respectful classrooms and schools. Such dialogues can be led by classroom teachers, school social workers or counselors, or by other students trained to lead and facilitate dialogue.  Having students view the “Students Tune In and Speak Out” video to begin such a dialogue is an effective way to open this process.
  • Schools and college campuses are screening Not In Our Town: Class Actions across the country. Here we will compile ideas on how to use this PBS program in your classroom. Thanks to Newcomers High School (Long Island City, NY) teacher Julie Mann and Lakewood High School (Lakewood, OH) teacher Joe Lobozzo for preparing these comprehensive materials.  Pre-Screening Activities 
  •   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.
  •   Although unable to speak, read or write in English when she came to the United States in 2005, Jennifer Gaxiola's innate sense of self-worth compelled her to succeed.  
  •  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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  • 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.  After intermediate students share personal experiences, they decide to take action and invent the "Leaving a Positive Footprint" activity, where the pupils paint blue footprints with positive messages "walking" though their campus. Later, they work with first grade buddies to discuss bullying and speaking up, and together they make paper footprint cut-outs and create their own upstander messages to post around the school.
  • Palo Alto High School student Kevin Ward challenges the stereotype of African-Americans as "gangsters," and says that "smart is the new gangster." The 16-year-old is working to bridge the achievement gap for students of color, through the school's Unity Club and a program called Bridge, connecting students from affluent Palo Alto and East Palo Alto, a neighboring low-income community. This lesson addresses the following SEL strategies. You can have students look for these issues and examine them in themselves.
  •   Alex Epstein is a college student who, during high school, was compelled to help rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Using the tool of VOLUNTEER, Alex made multiple trips and engaged with the local community. Alex took initiative and helped found NY2NO, or New York to New Orleans, to involve other young people in the revitalization of the New Orleans landscape. This video is part of a series produced by Not In Our School's parent company, The Working Group, for the Institute for Advancing Unity. This series focus on extraordinary people whose personal choices have inspired others to join in tremendous collective achievements. This lesson addresses the following Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) strategies. You can have students look for these issues and examine them in themselves.
  •   Janet Miller, a teacher at Hoover Middle School, said that she was blown away by district-wide statistics that revealed the risk of violence that transgendered youth experience. Moved by the statistics, Miller made an impassioned plea to her colleagues that it was their responsibility to create a safe learning environment for ALL students and that any type of discrimination should not be tolerated. This lesson addresses the following SEL strategies and you can have students look for these issues and examine them in themselves.
  •   Although unable to speak, read or write in English when she came to the United States in 2005, Jennifer Gaxiola's innate sense of self-worth compelled her to succeed.   Born in Bellflower, CA in 1992, Jennifer soon moved with her family to Mexico, then returned to California when she was nine years old. When she was 17, in Fresno in 2007, she began volunteering at the Center for Multicultural Cooperation. She became the Executive Youth Producer, and a voting Board Member, which greatly influenced her life. Jennifer became an All-Star for the Fresno Youth Empowerment Studio (FresYES), President of the Fresno Youth Service Council, and a Youth Service California CATALYST Ambassador.
  •   At age 12, Aitan Grossman was inspired by An Inconvenient Truth and began a journey that led him to use music to advocate for the preservation of the natural landscape around him. He wrote a song, “100 Generations,” and started his own non-profit to raise funds for wildlife conservation. His goals were to raise awareness, have students from many countries record his song, and inspire young people that at any age, they could make a difference. This lesson addresses the following SEL strategies. You can have students look for these issues and examine them in themselves.

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!