Not In Our School began Bullying Prevention Month with the powerful PSA, “Break Bullying” to stress the serious impact of bullying. We end the month with a focus on SOLUTIONS! Krista King is the co-adviser with Kurt Dearie of Carlsbad High School's Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) in Carlsbad, CA. Last February, King and Dearie went to the Center for Excellence in School Counseling and Leadership conference and were inspired by the Not in Our School presentation. In the session, they watched and discussed the video titled, "What Do You Say to That's So Gay?" Back at Carlsbad High, King teaches Graphic Design and Photography. One of the Visual Arts California Content Standards for California high school students is to design a campaign. She put a lot of thought into how to approach this project, asking around to others for their ideas. From there, they began brainstorming. They wanted to create a campaign that the whole school would want to take part in. King loved the idea of making posters. She played the "What Do You Say to That's So Gay?" video in her classes and they discussed the way a campaign around this topic could impact their school in a positive way.
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Palo Alto High interviews younger brother Noah Hornikat It Gets Indie last year. Photo Courtesy of Julian Hornik. When Julian Hornik was cyber-bullied for being gay, he didn’t have to worry about having anything but the full support from his family. In middle school, the young musician found derogatory comments on YouTube videos of his performances. Classmates created a Facebook page that targeted him for being gay. With the support of his family, he said it wasn’t hard for him to “push it away.” Julian and his younger brother Noah are part of an extended family of people who support LGBT rights. While Noah has not personally experienced bullying, he believes the internet allows people to feel “safer and more confident” when they bully and harass others. “They don’t have to see the impact,” Noah said. “People will go a lot farther.”
On the Day of Silence, we share with you the story of one middle school that provided the space for all of its students to have their voices heard. "Forming a Gay Straight Alliance at a middle school requires courage—for the administrator to step up, for the teacher who serves as the advisor, and for each student who walks through that door to be a member." By Dr. Becki Cohn-Vargas, Not In Our School Director My daughter knew she was gay from when she was a young girl, but it wasn’t until middle school that she told me. Not all young people have someone to talk to at that sensitive age. At Hoover Middle School in the San Francisco Unified School District, teacher Janet Miller learned frightening statistics about her district’s Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) students at a district training. She discovered that transgender youth were the most likely students to attempt suicide. Impassioned, Janet explains that she got on a table and shouted to the staff, "It’s our job and the job of every single person in this room to enforce safety for all students, not just straight ones, so any time you are not doing it, you are not doing your job!” She convinced the staff that Hoover needed to do something about this serious issue.