class actions | Not in Our Town

class actions

This article, written by Dr. Becki Cohn-Vargas, originally appeared in the June/July 2012 California State PTA newsletter. Not In Our Town has partnered with CAPTA to work together to address bullying and intolerance in schools throughout California. Dr. Cohn-Vargas is the director of Not In Our School and an experienced educator. We hear a lot about bullying, but do we ever stop to really think about what it is and the consequences of bullying? After all, isn't just kids being kids, a part of growing up? Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully among others may have serious, lasting problems. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. Bullying can affect people in many ways. Some may lose sleep or feel sick. Students may want to skip school. Some may even be thinking about suicide.
Not In Our School wishes to thank all of the students who submitted artwork to the 2012 Not In Our School Class Actions Campaign Art Contest. We had more than 40 submissions this year from students all across the country!   All the pieces demonstrated the creativity and imagination of the artists who made them. Six students’ unique designs stood out for their ability to clearly translate the words “Not In Our School” into visually-striking images with a message of inclusion.   We are happy to award these six students for their inspired work and the commitment that they have made to stand up against bullying in their schools.       “No Bullying” by Zahir Rosa, Grade 5, Massachusetts    
Watch the opening scenes to Class Actions by clicking on the image above.     "Bullying, racism, discrimination, hate. You know it's out there. It makes you cringe. But what are you gonna do about it?"     --MTV post on Not In Our Town: Class Actions KQED will broadcast Not In Our Town: Class Actions on Monday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m. The broadcast is an opportunity to open the conversation about how to stop hate and bullying. Join us in getting a Bay Area discussion going in your schools and communities.   
A diverse audience of 150 from the Greater Salk Lake City community gathered at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art for the Feb. 8 screening of Not In Our Town: Class Actions. KUED partnered with the Inclusion Center for Community and Justice and the Eunice Shrive Kennedy Community of Caring at the University of Utah to host the free public screening, reception, and a panel discussion of the film. Class Actions debuted on PBS on Feb. 13 and explores how students and educators in three American Communities joined together to address hate and bullying in their schools. National Community of Caring Center Associate Director Dr. David Parker shares his perspective on the screening: This documentary is closely aligned with the goals of the National Community of Caring Center. I was honored to be the opening speaker for the screening in Salt Lake City, Utah for KUED. The screening gave an opportunity for a diverse representation of members of the community to come together to explore various aspects of the “climate” regarding acts of bullying and hate.
"We were at a football game where everyone is cheering and the spirits are fairly high and these words began to echo. So what's the meaning of those words? How do I interpret those words? How do I feel about those particular words, 'The South will rise again'? I'm a Southerner, Daddy was a Southerner, my Granddaddy, etc. And of course, the South in its heyday had individuals likened to me in slavery type of conditions." —Dr. Donald Cole, University of Mississippi Watch Dr. Cole: Ole Miss Legacy University of Mississippi Assistant Provost Dr. Donald Cole shares his point of view on "The South Will Rise Again," chant and other traditions associated with segregation. After attending Ole Miss in 1968, Dr. Cole was soon expelled for his civil rights activity on campus. He now serves as an advisor to the chancellor. Also available: Transcript of the extended interview
"Sshh, the University of Mississippi is being integrated," they said, and I remember glancing at the television set and seeing mean faces. I remember very, very angry people, and I simply remember saying to myself, "I would never go to a place like that.” —Dr. Donald Cole, Assistant Provost, University of Mississippi, on learning about the integration of the university in 1962. Here is an extended transcript of Not In Our Town's interview with Dr. Donald Cole, Assistant Provost, University of Mississippi. Watch snippets of this interview in the Class Actions web extra, "Dr. Cole: Ole Miss Legacy."  
  Our growing list of national and regional partners in the Not In Our Town: Class Actions National Community Engagement Campaign includes: 
"Part of the motivation of these attacks is to isolate those who they are attacking. To make the victims feel victimized. But thanks to the response of Bloomington United and the community we are made to feel that this is an attack not only on us but the values of the whole community." —Bloomington, Indiana resident Watch Bloomington United: Ready to Respond to Hate After Ku Klux Klan flyers blanket an Indiana University campus neighborhood, Rabbi Sue Silberberg leads Bloomington United as they plan a community response. This is a DVD extra from the PBS program, Not In Our Town: Class Actions. For more information on the film, visit
"Our students have become activists, often times they don't have to tell on anyone for bullying, they just handle it themselves, they intervene themselves. You'll walk around this campus and you'll hear kids saying, 'Hey, not in our school.' It's our theme and they live it." —Lauri Massari, Del Sur Middle School counselor  Watch "Lauri Massari: How We Started Not In Our School" Learn how one middle school counselor created an anti-bullying program at her school and spread it to the entire community. This is a DVD extra from the PBS program, Not In Our Town: Class Actions. For more information on the film, visit
"My hope is progress because with all the things that we’ve done with One Mississippi—like we took a stand against the KKK when they came and the chant, and we’re trying to change the way people think about Ole Miss—I hope we continue to do the right thing." —University of Mississippi student, One Mississippi Watch "One Mississippi: Creating Dialogue on Campus" Leaders of One Mississippi, a student group devoted to bridging racial and social barriers at the University of Mississippi, bring students together for a dialogue meeting about their hopes and fears for the organization.