Talk About It. Your reactions to Not In Our Town: Class Actions.
Last week, Edutopia writer Suzie Boss spoke to Not In Our Town executive producer Patrice O'Neill and Not In Our School coordinator Becki Cohn-Vargas. In her article, "Students Standing Up to Bullying and Hate," Boss writes:
On the edge of the Mojave Desert in California, educators, political leaders, and students face the dangers of bullying after teen suicides devastate two nearby towns. A local middle school counselor initiates an anti-bullying program throughout the district and students take the lead in standing up to hate in their community. This story is part of the Not In Our Town program, Class Actions, that premieres nationwide on PBS stations in February 2012. What began as one educator’s effort to create a safer environment for her middle school campus blossomed into a citywide movement. “We had two suicides that happened within 50 miles of our school and our town,” Del Sur School counselor Lauri Massasri says in Class Actions. “When something like this happens so close to your own community it's a wake-up call and you realize that this could happen to any one of us and we've got to do something a little bit more because apparently what we were doing isn’t working isn’t enough.”
"Bloomington, Indiana: United and Ready to Respond to Hate" is part of the Not In Our Town program, Class Actions, that premieres nationwide on PBS stations in February 2012. When a string of anti-Semitic acts rocked the college town of Bloomington, Ind. just before Hanukkah in 2010, the town knew how to respond. Bloomington’s quick and supportive response from the city’s university, police, city, and community leaders comes from experience. The community group Bloomington United was first brought together by the mayor when former Indiana University student and white supremacist Ben Smith started spreading white supremacist and anti-Semitic flyers around town. Several months later, Korean doctoral student Won-Joon Yoon was fatally shot on his way to Bloomington’s Korean Methodist Church, the last killing during Smith’s two-state shooting spree.
Watch the Class Actions opening scene Not In Our Town: Class Actions premieres Monday, Feb. 13. Tune in and join the movement to stop hate and bullying. 1. Spread the word
At the University of Mississippi, a segregationist chant and Ku Klux Klan rally threaten to divide the campus community, but student leaders and their chancellor take a stand against hate and intolerance. This story is part of the Not In Our Town program, Class Actions, that premieres nationwide on PBS stations in February 2012. In the fall of 2009, we received a concerned call from Reiko Callner, a leader in the community response to a neo-Nazi rally in Olympia, Washington. She'd heard from a friend in Oxford that the Ku Klux Klan planned to protest at the University of Mississippi. Reiko wanted to know what action was being taken, and whether we planned to cover the story. Reiko is the creator of Unity in the Community. In the 2006 Not In Our Town film about Olympia’s response to the neo-Nazis, Reiko had said, ”Sometimes the worst threats bring out the best in people.” As we looked into the story in Oxford, we learned that Reiko was right and that the lessons of her northwestern capital city were just as relevant in this southern college town. A chant with a racist history
Not In Our Town: Class Actions Community Screening Guide Not In Our Town: Class Actions is a PBS documentary about student leaders working together with community members to create change in the wake of racism, anti-Semitism, and the traumatic consequences of bullying. These stories of courageous, innovative action in three American towns show how communities are vital partners for young leaders stepping up to confront intolerance and affirm the core values of their communities. Guide Overview This guide outlines tips community members and organizations can use to plan a local Not In Our Town: Class Actions screening event. For additional resources, including a film discussion guide, sample press release, logos, and newsletter copy, please visit our Screening Kit section.
Communities and classrooms across the country will be hosting local discussions with the program. Interested in hosting a screening? Please let us know what screening date and venue you decide on. We encourage communities to host screenings of Not In Our Town: Class Actions throughout 2012.