October has arrived, which means National Bullying Prevention Month is here. This year, we're dedicating the month to Extraordinary Upstanders, ordinary citizens who see something wrong and do something to make it right. We believe that being an upstander, who speaks up and stands up for themselves and others, is a way of life.
Georgia elementary school’s NIOS campaign uses a touch of magic
Anti-bullying messages in Fayette County, KY buses, cafeterias Now on Fayette County, KY school buses, one can find a sign that reads, “Bullying ... Not In Our School.” Jerry Cerel, board member of Bluegrass Crimestoppers, took action in order to establish safer buses. Cerel approached the Fayette County Public Schools’ law enforcement director, Chris Townsend, about placing placards in every bus in order to prevent bullying. "The purpose is not to place charges against people, but to encourage reporting," Townsend told the Lexington Herald-Leader. “If someone does report a case to law enforcement, we will refer it to the counselor in the school it pertains to. But if law enforcement intervention is warranted, the school will let us know.”
By Jacob Rostosky
King Chavez High School Starts NIOS Campaign Students at King Chavez High School in in San Diego, CA are ready to “break the silence” when it comes to bullying. A pack of diligent upstanders organized the school’s first anti-bullying conference June 1. Mara Mardrigal-Weiss of the San Diego County Office of Education was the keynote speaker. According to the event Facebook page, students have been working tirelessly since summer 2012 to create workshops that address bullying issues adolescents face today. Their main goal was to bring awareness to the local community about the negative effects of bullying. Not in Our School fully supports King Chavez High students’ ambition and passion. If you would like to start a NIOS campaign at your school, then check out our Not in Our School Campaign Quickstart Guide here! It is a great resource for potential upstanders to fight bullying. Bossard Team Dons Turbans in Solidarity
Eleven-year-old Marcel Neergaard of Oakridge, TN is leading a crusade against the proposed Classroom Protection Act, that prohibits “classroom instruction, course materials or other informational resources that are inconsistent with natural human reproduction.” Neergaard, who happens to be gay, was bullied so severely in middle school that he is now home schooled. In an op-ed for The Huffington Post, he contends that the bill would have required teachers to respond to students trying to report anti-gay bullying by saying something like, “That subject is inappropriate for your age group.” In a press statement Students First, an education activist group, called the Classroom Protection Act an “ill-conceived, harmful piece of legislation that would have represented a backward step for Tennessee schools and kids.” The bill has since died in the legislature. You can read Neergaard story in full here.
Not in Our School: a walk against hate
NBA player Jason Collins received a whirlwind of attention since becoming the first openly gay athlete on a major U.S. sports team. Although most people have heard of him, they are probably unaware of Brittney Griner, a lesbian recently drafted into the WNBA. Griner came out publicly last month, but has received little media attention compared to Collins. In an essay written for The New York Times, she opens up about that experience, letting the world know her decision was not about fame, but being true to herself despite the racial and homophobic obstacles faced in the process.