Not in Our School | Not in Our Town

Not in Our School

The Not In Our School (NIOS) Parent Guide for Preventing and Addressing Bullying and Intolerance highlights what you—as a parent—should do when your child is a victim of bullying.
Students from Peralta Elementary School in Oakland, Calif. perform an anti-bullying skit. This assembly launched their school-wide anti-bullying campaign.
Start a campaign in your campus! Photo Credit: Paly Voice
Not In Our School Director Becki Cohn-Vargas explains the impact of relational bullying and what can be done to prevent it.
Use the Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness Sunday School Guide to spark discussion and highlight important themes.

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

  • A Community Rocked by Hate is Awakened and Transformed The documentary Waking In Oak Creek profiles a suburban town rocked by hate after six...
  • In this new video geared toward elementary schools, students from Grimmer Elementary School in Fremont, CA explore the impact of bullying and...
  •   Grade Level: Elementary grades K-5 Film Run Time: 4:51   Description: Student leaders from Del Sur Middle School in...
  • Find previews and information about Class Actions at niot.org/ClassActions Written by: Julie Mann, Newcomers High School...
  •  Description: This video provides a brief overview of the purpose and goals of NIOS. It includes brief interviews with Patrice O’Neill,...
  •  Students at Watchung Hills Regional High School in New Jersey were fascinated when they heard about an Orange Out against bullying in...
  • A Community Rocked by Hate is Awakened and Transformed The documentary Waking In Oak Creek profiles a suburban town rocked by hate after six...
  •   Tadashi Nakamura is a 30 year old, fourth-generation Japanese American and second-generation filmmaker. Besides carrying on his...
  •   Florence Jones (1907-2003) was the spiritual leader and chief healer of the Winnemem Wintu tribe of Northern California. The...
  •   Vajra Watson founded SAYS: Sacramento Area Youth Speaks to give young people a voice through hip hop and spoken word. “We underestimate...
  •   During a dance performance on stage, Jackie Rotman's music suddenly stopped. In response, members of the audience joined Jackie on stage...
  •   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,...
  • A Community Rocked by Hate is Awakened and Transformed The documentary Waking In Oak Creek profiles a suburban town rocked by hate after six...
  •   Tadashi Nakamura is a 30 year old, fourth-generation Japanese American and second-generation filmmaker. Besides carrying on his...
  •   Florence Jones (1907-2003) was the spiritual leader and chief healer of the Winnemem Wintu tribe of Northern California. The...
  •   Vajra Watson founded SAYS: Sacramento Area Youth Speaks to give young people a voice through hip hop and spoken word. “We underestimate...
  •   During a dance performance on stage, Jackie Rotman's music suddenly stopped. In response, members of the audience joined Jackie on stage...
  •   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,...
  •   Florence Jones (1907-2003) was the spiritual leader and chief healer of the Winnemem Wintu tribe of Northern California. The...
  •   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...
  • 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.
  •   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.
  • 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.
  •   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.
  • 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. 
  • 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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  •   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.
  •   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. Why did they do that? Do you think that would have happened without the help of people like Chief Inman and Margaret MacDonald? Do you think that would have happened if Tammie Schnitzer had not “gone public” with what happened to her family? What were the risks these people took by taking a stand? What can each of us do in our own lives if we must confront − or someone we know must confront − bullying?
  •   Kiki is an extraordinary Sacramento student who, through her perseverance, strong character, and ability to forgive, has been able to celebrate life, finding happiness and success. Ten years ago, Kiki and her sisters were badly burned in a house fire in their native Vietnam that took the life of their mother. Raised by her father after securing treatment in the United States, Kiki and her sisters endured taunts and bullying and were separated when their father died of lung cancer a few years later. They have since been reunited.   However, Kiki does not focus on the pain from her loss. In her own words, "There is of course a part of me that is still hurting, but not from the fire. I'm hurt at the fact that I didn't forgive myself and others earlier...But now I have learned to forgive completely. I'm ready to move on to my next journey in life.”  
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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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  • 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.

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!