awareness and prevention | Not in Our Town

awareness and prevention

  Standing opposite of the library at Grimmer Elementary School, the Kindness Tree mural serves as a reminder to all those who see it to cultivate kindness.   The fourth, fifth, and sixth graders at Grimmer Elementary School in Fremont, CA created the mural to represent the school and its diverse community. Collaborating with artist Brenda Pattee, the students designed the mural and chose the color scheme. Unique birds representing the students sit on the tree’s sprawling branches, surrounded by flowers with the word for “kindness” in different languages painted on them and banners written in English and Spanish. All the languages, including Farsi, Pashto, Portuguese, Laotian, Vietnamese, Urdu, Arabic, Tagalog, Chinese, and Hawaiian, come directly from the school’s community.
Alton McSween, a former NFL player, teacher, and sports coach, now applies the Restorative Justice principles he learned at San Quentin in his local community and schools. Restorative Justice is now being used in schools as an alternative to suspensions and expulsions because zero tolerance policies have proven to be ineffective. McSween said the Restorative Justice process brings the perpetrator of harm together with others in “talking circle”  and or support group, to reflect on what has happened, speak about the wrongs that have been done, and take steps to make amends.
This is the second year in a row that Lancaster's students, teachers and parents have celebrated the start of Bullying Prevention Month in their city. Dozens turned out to watch their mayor and city council sign a Not in Our Town proclamation declaring Lancaster's schools a safe zone from intolerance and hate. Check out the full story in The Antelope Valley Times. Just like last year, Mayor R. Rex Harris joined with local school district administrators to officially sign the proclamation that challenges local leaders and students to stand up to bullying in their schools. Here's the full proclamation: WHEREAS schools make substantial contributions to the future of America and to the development of our young people as responsible and productive citizens; and