The Marshalltown, IA City Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution supporting the local Not In Our Town group’s prevention work around bullying and intolerance, a key commitment in the group’s efforts to become a Not In Our Town Gold Star City.
Mike Schlesinger, publisher of the Times-Republican and founder of the Marshalltown Not In Our Town effort, asked for the city council’s support in forming a safer, more inclusive community at the council’s Sept. 8 meeting.
More than two years ago, Schlesinger heard about a 14-year-old boy who committed suicide after being bullied at school in a nearby city. He quickly took preventative action by creating a Not In Our Town effort in the area.
“After I read that I thought ‘that could happen in Marshalltown,’” he said at the meeting.
Not In Our Town’s Gold Star Cities initiative gives communities concrete criteria and action steps to promote safety, acceptance, and inclusion, and prevent hate crimes. With the city’s support, Marshalltown has completed 10 out of the 18 criteria. The criteria includes creating relationships with law enforcement, activating the community, and supporting schools.
The national Not In Our Town project is currently creating a documentary about Marshalltown’s Not In Our Town efforts, and filmed part of the city council meeting.