In this piece from MTV's A Thin Line blog, Liz Stark talks about the Not In Our School model.
Ever since we were little, we have listened to lessons about kindness and respect. Treat people the way you wish to be treated. The Golden Rule. I have always thought that the “Golden Rule” got its nickname because chemical gold is an inert metal; in a sense, it never rusts and never fades. The Golden Rule isunyielding and timeless; a universal truth.
However, despite the Golden Rule’s universality, prejudice and hate still permeate our school districts and towns. Individuals are singled out based on their ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and learning capabilities. Groups are targeted through vandalism, physical abuse, and harassment. This type of behavior is unkind and unacceptable, but it is NOT unstoppable.
Not In Our School believes in the power of community to stop, address, and respond to acts of prejudice and hate. NIOS is a network of initiatives created to empower students, teachers, and parents to eradicate bullying and intolerance from schools and towns. NIOS is all about creating an “identity safe” environment and giving people a voice through student-led campaigns, classroom discussions, and other school programs. NIOS has inspired school districts across the country, from California to New Jersey, to stand up against hate.
In March 2011, a student vandalized the outside of my high school with racial slurs and expletives. When I stepped off the school bus in the morning, I saw the vandalism in thick black paint. Students huddled around the wall, visibly shaken by the reality that someone had defaced school property and used it as a platform for hate...
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