Not in Our School: a walk against hate
The students of Thurston High in Springfield, OR came together in a walk against hate May 9. The walk was sponsored by Thurston’s Not In Our School group and was attended by at least 200 student in an amazing show of solidarity.
Hometown.com, which covered the event, was able to collect the participants’ thoughts on bullying as they walked around the school track. “Bullying can lead to depression. That’s not cool on any level,” said student Antonette. Other simple, but really meaningful quotes were, “It’s bad,” from Aric; “I don’t like bullying!” exclaimed Danielle, and “Bullying is stupid,” said Calvin. A ninth grade teacher encouraged the students to “be nice and give each other a hug. High five a teacher near by and tell them that they’re awesome.”
Oklahoma Teachers Show Incredible Empathy Tornadoes
Not in Our School is very proud of all the teachers who have shown courage and extreme compassion during the devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma. Teachers have not only demonstrated leadership by keeping students calm during this tragedy, but also heroism. Many teachers used their own bodies as shields to protect their children and in some cases suffered injury as a result. Suzanne Haley of Briarwood Elementary School was impaired by the leg of a desk while protecting students. Her actions and others are truly inspiring and furthermore, shows great human compassion. We commend the teachers of Oklahoma for being such outstanding upstanders!
Minnesota House passes sweeping anti-bullying bill
Minnesota House just passed a sweeping anti-bullying bill according to PostBulletin.com. The Safe Schools and Supportive Minnesota Act replaces the current 37-word policy with an all-inclusive, standardized policy that prohibits bullying or harassment of a student because of his or her race, religion, sexual orientation, or disability, among other things.
The bill was enacted to give students the same protections no matter what school they attend. It has received support from gay rights advocates and educators and studies show this kind of legislation could have a positive impact. The AERA Prevention of Bullying in Schools, Colleges, and Universities Research Report found that school nondiscrimination and anti-bullying policies that specifically include actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity are more likely to promote safety and well-being for LGBTQ youth in schools than policies that do not specifically name them.
Legal victory! Bullied for years, Sikh student gets justice in landmark settlement
A clear message was sent to the DeKalb County School District in Atlanta after the administration failed to protect a Sikh student from race and religion-based harassment and bullying. The Sikh Coalition reports the student was referred to as “Osama,” a “terrorist,” “curryhead,” and other epithets at school and on the school bus, in addition to suffering from physical harassment. Although the school district responded to some of the complaints by disciplining the harassers, not enough measures were taken to end the abuse.
The student was then represented by the Sikh Coalition, which encouraged a federal investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ). In an unprecedented legal victory the DOJ reached a settlement agreement with the school district which included mandatory anti-harassment training for students and staff and the implementation of a safety plan to protect the student. The settlement will remain in effect until the end of the 2014-2015 school year.
Dissecting cyberbullying: An interview with Dr. Justin Patchin
Is cyberbullying worse than physical bullying? Why are educators having such a hard time dealing with cyberbullying? Should there be stricter laws against online harassment against a student, or is it an issue for parents and the school to resolve informally? These are the kinds of questions that cyberbullying expert Dr. Justin Patchin, co-director of the Cyberbullying Prevention Center and associate professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, tackles.
In his interview with Mobistealth. Dr. Patchin explains what red flags parents should look for to know if their child is being cyberbullied, how to communicate with your child about digitally safety, the effects of cyberbullying, and what can be done to mitigate it. Not in Our School recommends this article to help you stay informed about digital technology. For those who prefer podcast, an audio version of Dr. Patchin’s interview is available as well.