Executive Producer Patrice O'Neill and film crew sit with local Marshalltownnewspaper, the Times-Republican, Wednesday, Aug. 29. Photo Courtesyof Times-Republican. This week, we join Marshalltown, Iowa to celebrate the city’s Not In Our Town campaign. Tomorrow at noon, Marshalltown’s Not In Our Town committee will host a rally on the Marshall County Courthouse lawn, where hundreds donned in orange Not In Our Town T-shirts will meet to support the efforts against bullying. Our camera crews are in Marshalltown now to help support as well as document the movement. At the rally, Executive Producer Patrice O’Neill will send greetings from the Not In Our Town community, while Marshalltown Mayor pro-tem Bethany Wirin will present a proclamation supporting Not In Our Town. Meanwhile, participants can sign pledge cards against bullying.
Marshalltown, IA residents have been emptying their shopping bags to find invitations to join the stand against hate. In late July, the NIOT Marshalltown group printed pledge forms and inserted them as bag stuffers at various local stores. By signing the form, Marshalltown community members would pledge to "take a stand against any and ALL hateful actions," reject discriminatory actions, speak up in the face of hateful actions and commit to change. Residents were then encouraged to return the signed pledge to the business, school or church from which they originally received the slip. The Times-Republican will then print a free ad listing the names of the pledged, intending to show the community-wide support of the movement against hate and bullying. Meanwhile, Marshalltown welcomed President Barack Obama Tuesday afternoon. As part of his three-day campaign of Iowa, Obama spoke in Miller Middle School's gym.
On Sunday, the citizens of Marshalltown, Iowa launched a united effort to help stop bullying before tragedy strikes. The citywide Not In Our Town campaign is organized by an anti-bullying committee comprised of community, education, civic and law enforcement leaders. This core group of 25 were brought together by the Marshalltown Times-Republican. Through a series of film screenings, community events, and public speakers, the campaign aims to bring all forms of bullying to light to make Marshalltown a safe and inclusive city. "We want to see if we can be ahead of the curve as a community in preventing bullying," said Mike Schlesinger, publisher of the Times-Republican, said in a June 3 article. "We want to look at ways to prevent school bullying, but also workplace bullying, domestic violence and other types of bullying among adults." According to the Times-Republican, a youth survey showed that 41 percent of the city's students had been bullied in the last 30 days, and 11 percent of those students didn't go to school because they felt unsafe.