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.
Have you ever been in a situation where you wish you had spoken up to defend yourself? Have you ever stood by when someone else was being teased or bullied and wished you had said something? It happens to all of us, and though we should not feel bad or guilty about it, we can do things differently if we put our mind to it. The same is true for children. We tell students to speak up for themselves and to stop being bystanders when it comes to bullying, but we need to show them how and let them try it out. Try It Out is the new Not In Our School film for elementary students. In this film, middle school students help their elementary peers learn three ways to be an upstander. While being an upstander is never easy, roleplaying gives children a chance to practice and explore how it is done. 1. Intervene. We always tell children to intervene safely, meaning not to be aggressive, just firm when intervening and not to take unnecessary risks.
In BULLY, filmmaker Lee Hirsch graphically portrays the tragedy of bullying to catalyze everyone to be part of the solution. The BULLY Educator DVD & Toolkit, which includes Not In Our School videos and resources, is now available for pre-order. Hirsch recently won the the Stanley Kramer Award of the Producers Guild of America. According to 2013 PGA Awards Chair Michael De Luca, “BULLY sparked a movement, sparked a shift in consciousness and rallied people of all ages to stand up against intolerance and hate. It’s a film that I believe Stanley Kramer himself would applaud and we’re thrilled to recognize it with this honor.” By Lee Hirsch
As the nation responds to the devastating effects of bullying, it is important to highlight the crucial role of an upstander. An upstander is a person who speaks up or stands up to bullying and intolerance, either to prevent or intervene when someone is being harmed. By Becki Cohn-Vargas, Not In Our School Director I, for one, would not be here if it were not for an upstander. My father’s family barely escaped the Holocaust after Kristallnacht, the “Night of Broken Glass” in Berlin on Nov. 9, 1938. He and his family found refuge in Shanghai, China.
What's happening across the country for Bullying Prevention Month—and this is just the first week! StopBullying.gov is sponsoring the Stop Bullying Challenge, a PSA campaign for youth to make videos to show how they’re more than a bystanderThis contest gives young people another way to create a more positive and healthy environment in their schools and communities. Youth between 13 and 18 years old are invited to submit original PSAs, 30-60 seconds long by Oct. 14 at 11 p.m. EST. Watch this invitation from Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education Pacer, the national organization that initiated Bullying Prevention Month is promoting Unite Against Bullying Wednesday, Oct. 10 is Unity Day, a special event during National Bullying Prevention Month. The key message is, “Make it Orange, Make it End!”
By Dr. Becki Cohn-Vargas, Not In Our School Director Not In Our School was honored to be part of the SF Bay Area Stop Bullying Summit, the kick-off event in a series of anti-bullying activities across the Bay Area. The summit was part of a larger initiative where thousands of students—literally all middle and high school students in the San Francisco Unified and Oakland School Districts—viewed the Bully documentary directed by Lee Hirsch. Students in San Mateo County will view the film in October. NIOS participated in planning, served on a panel of effective strategies, and also facilitated a Q&A for Oakland students who viewed Bully. San Francisco Summit: Leaders ConvergeThe summit, sponsored by Northern California District U.S. Attorney's Office, featured a lineup of civic leaders, school superintendents, the Department of Justice, law enforcement, and community organizations. Convened by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, speakers included Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas Perez (read his speech here).
When Susan Guess of Paducah, KY learned that her 8-year-old daughter was being bullied by a classmate, she was devastated. “I’m a 37-year-old mom, with a very close and open relationship with my child, yet she kept that information private from me,” she said. Guess asked her daughter Morgan what was going on and was finally told the truth about being bullied at school. “This was an eye opening experience about how little I and the school knew about bullying,” Guess said. “There was so much ignorance.” Guess became increasingly concerned about her child and other children who suffer in silence, so she and Morgan decided to open the conversation about bullying and share their story. Guess met with school leaders to raise awareness about the growing problem of bullying at their school. She also launched an anti-bullying campaign that would raise money to bring the film Bully and Director Lee Hirsch to their town.
BULLY hits theaters March 30th! Please join us in helping this film reach theaters and change lives. Here is how you can help: