With daily news reports about the devastating impact on students who have been relentlessly bullied, teachers find themselves on the front line in addressing bullying and intolerance. It is time to move into action. Not In Our School offers solutions-based strategies and tools for change to a network of schools that are working to create safe, inclusive and accepting climates.
What is an upstander? An upstander is an individual who sees wrong and acts. A person who takes a stand against an act of injustice or intolerance is not a “positive bystander,” they are an UPstander. The word itself has the ability to empower students to make an active change in their schools, in an effort to build communities that support difference and unify against intolerance.
Colin, who is featured in the music video Carry On by Galvanized Souls, experienced relentless bullying at school. Read his heartwarming story that touched over 2 million people around the world. In this blog, you can also watch the story behind Galvanized Soul's music video for Carry On. Learn more about National Bullying Prevention Month to discover what you can do to be an upstander and prevent bullying in your school.
Working with Watchung Regional High School is always inspiring. The connection between Not In Our School and Jamie Lott-Jones and her colleague Mary Sok began with the production of a film about their school’s efforts to address cyberbullying. The partnership did not stop there. Not In Our School has been hosted at the school, met with two superintendents, and has featured Watchung’s efforts many times on NIOT.org.
Girl Scouts Promote Anti-bullying Message A group of 5th-grade girls are ready to change the world. Members of Junior Girl Scout Troop 20384 are sending the message ‘Be a Buddy, Not a Bully,’ by working on a Bronze Award project as part of their effort to stop bullying. The troop shared their anti-bullying message using a PowerPoint presentation, a coloring page, and word searches at a National Day of Service event held at a local high school, according to The Alternative Press. These resources will be used in a local elementary school’s anti-bullying curriculum.
Violence struck another American high school last week. On Wednesday April 9, a student in Murrysville, PA roamed the halls of his school stabbing fellow students. On that same day, community leaders in Marshalltown, IA gathered in the Marshalltown High School gym as students presented what they had learned from new violence prevention trainings. Marshalltown is part of the Safe Schools, Healthy Students Initiative sponsored by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Education and Justice. Marshalltown is also a Not In Our Town community and for the past two years has been implementing a Not In Our Town campaign to address bullying and intolerance, community-wide. The anti-violence training at Marshalltown High School was provided by Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP). Thirty-seven students and staff members participated in the day-long sessions, learning ways to intervene in violence, including talking to the victim, talking to the perpetrator, going to trusted adults, diverting or delaying actions. After the training, students said they felt more comfortable knowing how to intervene during a conflict or bullying situation.
Elementary students create “upstander” club Students of Elm Grove Elementary school in Bossier City, LA created an anti-bullying club with the motto “Be an upstander not a bystander.” A dozen students who have felt the effects of bullying meet twice a month in Robin Webb’s 5th grade class to learn how to stand up against bullying, according to KSLA News. “It helps me know that I have other members that will help me if I’m being bullied,” 9-year-old Mathew told KSLA News. Webb started the club because her son, Orrin, who is now a soldier, had been bullied as a child.
If you ever wondered what one person can do, meet Susan Guess. After her 8-year old daughter was bullied two years ago, she moved into action together with her daughter to raise awareness and get her whole community involved in anti-bullying activities.
By Hayley Gripp
Originally published on Edutopia By Dr. Becki Cohn-Vargas, Not In Our School Director