A Movement to End Bullying, Hate, and Intolerance February 28, 2013 8:30 am - 3:30 pm Hayward Unified School District Office 24411 Amador Street, Hayward, CA Co-Presenters: Becki Cohn-Vargas Director, Not In Our School Lynn Bravewomon Coordinator, Hayward USD Safe and Inclusive Schools Program
In one GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) study of school climate, elementary school students and teachers reported constant use of disparaging remarks like "retard" and "that's so gay" in their schools and classrooms. Research conducted by GLSEN continues to highlight the prevalence of biased language, name-calling and bullying in U.S. schools. GLSEN'S No Name-Calling Week is an annual week of educational activities that takes place in schools across the nation. No Name-Calling Week seeks to resolve the problem of name-calling and bullying in schools and provide students and teachers with the tools to create a more positive classroom environment. NIOS is proud to be one of over 40 national partner organizations of No Name-Calling Week, and we hope to inspire schools to create a more tolerant and accepting atmosphere for all students.
NIOS Video Featured in TextbookOur video, “New Immigrants Share their Stories,” will be used for the upcoming Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Literature program for grades 6-12. This is a multi-modal program including digital and print content for instruction and application in classrooms. We are proud our materials will be used in this release and will be seen by many more young people. This video depicts an annual NIOS effort in New York City led by Julie Mann, a teacher at Newcomers High School. This year the project expanded into an even larger project that was filmed and shown and Ellis Island.
By Blair Campbell If you are concerned that your child is at risk for being a victim of cyberbullying, you can take proactive steps and intervene before things get out of hand. The way you and your child respond may even help break the cycle of bullying in your community. Prohibiting your kids from participating online is not a solution. It doesn’t work—they’ll just find a way to do it out of your presence and will not feel comfortable communicating with or confiding in you if they run into a problem. Rather, you need to strike a balance between policing their activity and offering them constructive guidance. Here are some positive ways you can talk to your kids about and work with them to prevent cyberbullying:
Spread Peace and Acceptance at Your School: NIOS University Courses Now Available for Educators NIOS is proud to announce two new courses for educators! Both courses guide you toward developing your own Not In Our School (NIOS) Bullying Prevention Campaign. The Dominican University course covers ways to address bullying and start a NIOS Campaign. The University of San Diego Course focuses on building a NIOS Campaign and creating a safe and caring community. Select the course that works for you! The course dates, registration links, and descriptions can be found here. NIOS Mini-Grant Funds Video and Activities at Thurston High School
By Blair Campbell Blair Campbell When we began offering Safe and Secure Online in Canada last year, I lead a class of 120 students in which a young girl, following the cyberbullying video in the presentation, broke down crying and said, “If I report it, will it stop?” She struggled to regain her composure during the presentation. A teacher afterward said that the school was aware of what she was dealing with and was the reason they brought Safe and Secure Online to their school. It was awful to watch this young girl – who couldn’t have been more than 13 – struggling so much when faced with a discussion about this painful experience, knowing some of the bullies were likely sitting in the room.
NIOS Is Proud to Announce Two New Courses for Educators Both courses guide you toward developing your own Not In Our School (NIOS) Bullying Prevention Campaign. The Dominican course covers bullying and starting a NIOS Campaign. The USD Course focuses on building a NIOS Campaign and creating a safe and caring community. Select the course that works for you! UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGODivision of Continuing Education Not In Our School: Strategies that Address Bullying and Intolerance by Creating Safe, Inclusive and Accepting Schools 2-Unit Online courseParticipants will create a plan to end bullying and intolerance in their school and community with the Not In Our School approach. The course will also focus on how to create safe, inclusive and accepting positive climates. This course was just added to the USD Bullying Prevention in Our Schools certificate program, but can be taken independently. Registration is now open.
Here at Not In Our Town, we have been grateful for the support of our partners at American Federation of Teachers. AFT's efforts to promote the PBS broadcasts of Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness and Class Actions and share campaign resources with its network have allowed us to connect with dynamic educators and public employees across the country. We were also thrilled to show a segment of Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness at AFT's annual Civil, Human and Women's Rights Conference last year in Detroit, and participate in a powerful Town Hall meeting. We are very pleased to share information about AFT's important campaign to respond to and prevent bullying: "See a Bully, Stop a Bully: Make a Difference."
On the Day of Silence, we share with you the story of one middle school that provided the space for all of its students to have their voices heard. "Forming a Gay Straight Alliance at a middle school requires courage—for the administrator to step up, for the teacher who serves as the advisor, and for each student who walks through that door to be a member." By Dr. Becki Cohn-Vargas, Not In Our School Director My daughter knew she was gay from when she was a young girl, but it wasn’t until middle school that she told me. Not all young people have someone to talk to at that sensitive age. At Hoover Middle School in the San Francisco Unified School District, teacher Janet Miller learned frightening statistics about her district’s Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) students at a district training. She discovered that transgender youth were the most likely students to attempt suicide. Impassioned, Janet explains that she got on a table and shouted to the staff, "It’s our job and the job of every single person in this room to enforce safety for all students, not just straight ones, so any time you are not doing it, you are not doing your job!” She convinced the staff that Hoover needed to do something about this serious issue.
To help educators and schools get started, we have developed a Quick Start Guide: How to Launch a Not In Our School Campaign. With a focus on students taking the lead in creating an inclusive environment at their schools, the Not In our School program can be implemented with the help of tailored lesson plans, NIOS videos, and activity guides--all available on the NIOS website. Educators can launch a Not In Our School campaign in just 9 steps. Need funding? Apply for one of our Teacher Mini-Grants, due on April 30.