This summer, a comment arrived in response to our video “Lowell Students Dance Away the Hate,” a short film featuring an inspiring student response to a visit from the hate group known as the Westboro Baptist Church. “This is so sweet,” the commenter wrote, “I found out about this video after I read the book Miss Fortune Cookie! It incorporated this event in the book and included the link to this video at the end. It's so cheerful and happy. =)” Miss Fortune Cookie is a young adult novel penned by Lauren Bjorkman, an author who attended high school in the San Francisco Bay Area and now lives with her family in Taos, New Mexico. We connected via email about her interest in the video and how she fictionalized it in her book.
By Janet Sasson Edgette, Psy.D Sharing the quiet neighborhood in which I grew up was a girl I’ll call Marcie. Marcie wasn’t a particularly nice girl, but that didn’t stop me or any of the other kids in the neighborhood from trying to be her friend. She toyed sadistically and expertly with our wishes to be part of her “in” group. One summer she made each of us pinkie swear that we believed her story about there being the decapitated Frankenstein heads underneath the sewer lids on our street. I didn’t believe in Frankenstein, but I was afraid to not believe in Marcie. I spent one whole year engrossed in the terrible, tantalizing fantasy of lifting off those lids and finding heads in varying states of decay.
Soledad High School students come together to pledge against bullying. Photo Courtesy of Monterey County Office of Education.Soledad High School Assistant Principal Laura Eras and Intervention Specialist Myra Chavez called us from Soledad, CA, a small farming community located 25 miles southeast of Salinas. Using Not In Our School materials, they launched a weeklong anti-bullying campaign.
We here at Not In Our School would like to thank all of the students who submitted short films to the 2012 Not In Our School “What Do YOU Say?” Video Challenge. As an organization that produces and distributes documentary films, we were excited to see so many talented young cinematographers coming together to stand up against discrimination in their schools! Two videos stood out for their original depiction of Not In Our School’s message of inclusion and respect. We are excited to award these students from South Carolina and Wisconsin for their films that positively encouraged students to be upstanders in the face of bullying. How can we show you that you are not alone? Written, produced, and filmed by Emily Marciniak, John Karolus, and Ben Wihelm, Grade 11, Antigo High School, Wisconsin. What Do YOU Say to Bullies?
The hate group known as the Westboro Baptist Church has put Olympia High School on its picketing schedule, arriving tomorrow morning with its messages of hate. When OHS Principal Matt Grant received the news, he began conversations with the school district and police. He met with students that wanted to craft a non-confrontational response. He also reached out to his colleagues through Not In Our School, receiving support and advice from successful counter-action organizers, such as educator Daisy Renazco, who supported her students when the WBC visited Gunn High School several years ago. The Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), a Topeka, KS-based hate group known for their anti-gay ideologies, begin their protests at the state capitol today, which is the deadline for opponents of marriage equality to turn in the signatures needed to put Washington’s marriage equality law up for a vote. Olympia Unity in the Community organizes a community response.