Several Palo Alto, CA schools host Not In Our School weeks this month, devoting time to recognizing and combating discrimination and stereotypes. Not In Our School (NIOS) has been present at Gunn High School for 12 years. While Gunn promotes acceptance and awareness to its students year-round, the NIOS week allows students to actively think about these topics and participate in assemblies and activities with classmates. Gunn’s theme is “We’re all in this together,” according to Palo Alto Online.
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Slate: "Productive" Response to Kansas Hate Group When the Westboro Baptist Church hate group announced that it would picket the funerals of the Newtown, CT shooting victims, many people were filled with outrage. In response, the cyberhacking group Anonymous hacked the website and Twitter pages of the WBC in a form of revenge. Slate writer Will Oremus states that there have been more productive responses to the Westboro Baptist Church, particularly the pro-tolerance counter protest of Gunn High School. This counter protest was effective because it worked to empower the students and strengthen the school’s values of acceptance and tolerance. Slate also featured our video, “Gunn High School Sings Away Hate Group,” below. Talking to Your Kids About Newtown
In a few hours, the end-of-day bell will ring at Gunn High School and students will gather in the school squad with a scream. After a daylong vow of silence—representing the inability of many teens to express themselves fully because of sexual orientation or gender identity—this communal scream will symbolize the "Breaking of the Silence" that is felt by LGBTQ youth and allies. The Day of Silence activity is just one of many during Gunn's Not In Our School Week. The Palo Alto, Calif. high school has hosted a Not In Our School for nearly a decade to "promote acceptance, awareness and identity safety." "One of the reasons why I like NIOS Week is that it reminds staff and students that it’s OK to actively participate in what’s going on around you, and that you should be supported for standing up against something that isn’t right," said Kristy Blackburn, reflecting on how she uses Not In Our School activities in her English classroom.