San Diego Launches NIOS Campaign, Purdue Focuses on Respect + More | Not in Our Town

San Diego Launches NIOS Campaign, Purdue Focuses on Respect + More

 King Chavez High School Starts NIOS Campaign

Students at King Chavez High School in in San Diego, CA are ready to “break the silence” when it comes to bullying. A pack of diligent upstanders organized the school’s first anti-bullying conference June 1. Mara Mardrigal-Weiss of the San Diego County Office of Education was the keynote speaker.

According to the event Facebook page, students have been working tirelessly since summer 2012 to create workshops that address bullying issues adolescents face today. Their main goal was to bring awareness to the local community about the negative effects of bullying.
Not in Our School fully supports King Chavez High students’ ambition and passion. If you would like to start a NIOS campaign at your school, then check out our Not in Our School Campaign Quickstart Guide here! It is a great resource for potential upstanders to fight bullying.

Bossard Team Dons Turbans in Solidarity

A Canadian youth soccer team donned turbans to show support for the Sikh community, the Montreal Gazette reports. Despite the Canadian Soccer Association directive that turbans be allowed, the Quebec Soccer Federation (QSF) banned them although they pose no safety hazard. Coach Ihab Leheta of Brossard let his players wear turbans to demonstrate a lesson about injustice and equality. The team happily participated.

Meanwhile, QSF actions have sparked outrage in Canada and abroad, compelling parents, community members, and local leaders to take a stance. A city council member plans to present a motion denouncing the organization; “disgusted” parents Donald Pinkerton and Philippa Settels have pulled their 6- and 11-year-old sons from Greenfield Park soccer in protest; and a member of the Sikh community in Switzerland has asked Sepp Blatter, president of Zurich-based Federation Internationale de Football Association, to intervene.

You can read more about the coach and community protest and the QSF response here.
Pride & Prom: Coming Out

In a feature story for Voicewaves, Wilson High School senior Carlone Ham of Long Beach, CA opens up about coming out and coming of age. In one weekend, Ham attended his senior prom and the Long Beach pride parade after coming out to both friends and family.
He publicly came out via Facebook and received an abundance of support from friends. The status update garnered more than 100 likes and classmates patted him on the back at school, calling Ham’s actions “powerful.” At home, however, there was a different reaction. “I told my mom and she told me that she didn’t accept me. I was basically thrown out and told that I can’t be this way. So I left the house,” explained Ham, who is now living part-time at a friend’s house and staying with his older sister on the weekends.

According to the Williams Institute study of youth shelters, 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBT and family rejection was the leading cause for LGBT youth being forced out or choosing to leave home.

You can read more about Ham’s challenges and triumphs as a young, Cambodian gay man here.

Letter from Purdue President to Incoming Freshman Emphasizes Respect

Purdue University President Daniels sent a letter to the 7,000 incoming freshman emphasizing the university’s core values. The letter comes after an unsolved hate crime against black students in March. The words “white supremacy” were found in the Black Cultural Center leading to two demonstrations against hate during the Spring semester. Not in Our School is particularly impressed by the message of “respect for others” in the letter.

“Respect for others – A great strength of Purdue is the wide variety of nationalities, ethnic backgrounds, lifestyle preferences and faith traditions of its student body. We strongly believe, and you will see on our campus, that differences aren’t deficiencies, but rather opportunities for learning. We expect each student to respect all such differences and behave accordingly. Any discrimination or intimidation on the basis of race or other such characteristic is unacceptable, and those who practice either are not welcome at Purdue,” wrote President Daniels.

Read more Purdue’s expectations for students here.

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