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.

Find Lesson Plans

  • 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...
  •     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...
  •   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...
  • Three Films Produced and Directed by Sikh Youth The Sikh Way of Life: Stand Up, Speak Up, and End Bullying (7:45) by Ajay Singh Kudrat Ke Sabh...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  •   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....
  •  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.
  • A Community Rocked by Hate is Awakened and Transformed
  • As a result of the murder of Marcelo Lucero, there were many positive efforts in the community to embrace diversity and build respect for all. One of these was the creation of public art to reflect feelings and attitudes about the murder and to create a positive and hopeful message for the future. The use of art can be a wonderful way for students to express ideas about diversity, respect and social justice concerns. The following guideline provides instruction on how to lead such a process with students. Age-level: middle and high school students
  • Find previews and information about Class Actions at niot.org/ClassActions Written by: Julie Mann, Newcomers High School teacher, and Joe Lobozzo, Lakewood High School teacher
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  •   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.
  • In this video, students created an assembly performance that included individual presentations, role-playing scenarios and musical performances.  Any or all of these efforts represent exciting and creative ways for students to contribute their voice and perspectives to important social justice issues.   As this is a big undertaking, please review the following guidelines to assist in your planning and implementation.
  • Find previews and information about Class Actions at niot.org/ClassActions Written by: Julie Mann, Newcomers High School teacher, and Joe Lobozzo, Lakewood High School teacher Vocabulary: Hate crime Anti-semitism Hanukah Menorah Rabbi  
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  •   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.
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  • Additional Writing Activities for Not In Our School Films and the Video Action Kit NIOS films and lesson plans can be used in academic courses that address writing and health. Here are some activities that can be added to address Common Core State Standards in areas of Writing and Critical Thinking.
  •   Dr. Joseph Marshall Jr. is an author, activist, and veteran street soldier. Founder of the anti-violence movement Alive & Free, Marshall draws audiences from across the country to his weekly radio program, Street Soldiers—a name Dr. Marshall uses to describe people working to eliminate violence in their communities. To help keep his own community safer, Dr. Marshall co-founded the Omega Boys Club after years of working as a middle school teacher and seeing too many of his students lost to drugs and violence. 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: Dr. Marshall helps students become aware of their own lives and make the choice to be part of “the solution.” Self-management: Dr. Marshall says that “change begins with you.” He provides tools and opportunities for students to change themselves.
  •   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. 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.
  • 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.
  •   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.
  •   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.
  •   Florence Jones (1907-2003) was the spiritual leader and chief healer of the Winnemem Wintu tribe of Northern California. The Wintu have called the McCloud River Watershed near Mount Shasta home for more than 1000 years, but were not provided a reservation as gold miners and pioneers drove them away in the name of industry. Although the Wintu’s numbers have dwindled from over 14,000 when contact with non-Natives was recorded to only 395, Jones has been at the forefront of a fight to save sacred sites and their way of live. By learning and teaching to EMBRACE CULTURE, Jones was able to lead the Wintu in a successful bid to block the construction of a ski resort on sacred Wintu land. This lesson addresses the following Social and Emotional Learning (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!