Starting the School Year with Safety, Inclusion, and Acceptance | Not in Our Town

Starting the School Year with Safety, Inclusion, and Acceptance

Fall is here, and students, teachers, and parents are marking the start of another school year. As the first months of school unfold, it’s a great time to engage young people in setting a tone of acceptance, inclusion, and safety on campus.

 Not In Our School videos highlight real students across the country who are role models and “upstanders” against bullying and intolerance.  NIOS videos show what can be possible when students and teachers work together to transform their campus. We’ve seen the films inspire young people to start their own campus-based NIOS activities and events.

The videos listed below are part of Palo Alto Unified School District’s annual “Not In Our School Month” campaign which encourages students to talk about and take action against hate. Although many of our resources are geared towards middle and high school students, some activities can also be tailored to elementary school students.

Here are a few ways educators and students are putting Not In Our School resources into action on their campuses.

Students Tune In and Speak Out

In this excerpt of “Not In Our School: Palo Alto,”  Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School students and teachers use campus TV to coordinate a school-wide screening of the Not In Our Town youth video, and broadcast a school-wide student forum about what young people can do to stand up to intolerance. After the broadcast, students in each classroom participated in a candid, supportive, round table discussion about the effects of intolerance, and what young people can do to make their campus a place where all people are safe and respected.

Students Picture a World Without Intolerance

In this excerpt of “Not In Our School Palo Alto,” Palo Alto High School students in Margo Wixsom’s art classes design compelling posters about confronting intolerance and stereotyping.


What Do You Say to “That’s So Gay”?

In this excerpt from “Not In Our School: Palo Alto, CA,” Gunn High School students in Roni Habib’s Facing History and Ourselves class challenge the saying “That’s So Gay.”

We wish you best of luck as you head back to school and remind parents, students, educators and community members that whether you have a month or just one lesson to devote to standing up to hate, your efforts will serve to impact tomorrow’s leaders.

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