NIOS | Not in Our Town


With daily news reports about the devastating impact on students who have been relentlessly bullied, teachers find themselves on the front line in addressing bullying and intolerance. It is time to move into action. Not In Our School offers solutions-based strategies and tools for change to a network of schools that are working to create safe, inclusive and accepting climates.
Not In Our School is proud of the multi-year work at Soledad High School in Soledad, CA. In this profile, two NIOS leaders reflect on the anti-bullying work they continue to push in their school district—Aidee Aldaco, a staff member at Soledad High, and Robert, a student who helped found Soledad NIOS with his older brother Alex, a current NIOS intern.
Lockhart Elementary School teacher Joanne Saunders has worked tirelessly to help the students in her school take action to both prevent violence and bullying and to create kindness. We learned about Joanne’s great work in St. Thomas, the Virgin Islands, through Not In Our School’s Facebook page. We thought it would be wonderful to create an interchange between Lockhart School and Duveneck school in Palo Alto, CA, where Not In Our School (NIOS) activities have also been expanding. We were thrilled to hear the partnership has begun and continues. Read how one school proactively is addressing ways to reduce youth violence. Their Facebook page tells the wonderful story of their efforts. —Dr. Becki Cohn-Vargas, Not In Our School Director By Joanne E. M. Saunders
A Not In Our School campaign is a long-term student-led effort to prevent and address bullying and intolerance in a school. A student-led assembly is an excellent way to launch a Not In Our School (NIOS) campaign. This kit provides examples of activities and resources that can be adapted to any school, grades K-12. Not In Our School Anti-Bullying Launch Assembly Kit  Not In Our School designed a model for a student-led assembly that can be carried out in any school, youth group, or community. The assembly incorporates the Not In Our School Core Principles with students taking the lead in addressing bullying and intolerance. Students learn to be upstanders and work toward an accepting and identity safe school environment with the support of the larger community. Download and view the following here:
  Originally published on Edutopia By Dr. Becki Cohn-Vargas, Not In Our School Director
  Have you ever been in a situation where you wish you had spoken up to defend yourself? Have you ever stood by when someone else was being teased or bullied and wished you had said something? It happens to all of us, and though we should not feel bad or guilty about it, we can do things differently if we put our mind to it. The same is true for children. We tell students to speak up for themselves and to stop being bystanders when it comes to bullying, but we need to show them how and let them try it out. Try It Out is the new Not In Our School film for elementary students. In this film, middle school students help their elementary peers learn three ways to be an upstander. While being an upstander is never easy, roleplaying gives children a chance to practice and explore how it is done. 1. Intervene. We always tell children to intervene safely, meaning not to be aggressive, just firm when intervening and not to take unnecessary risks.
October has arrived, which means National Bullying Prevention Month is here. This year, we're dedicating the month to Extraordinary Upstanders, ordinary citizens who see something wrong and do something to make it right. We believe that being an upstander, who speaks up and stands up for themselves and others, is a way of life. 
By Caitlin Grams  Not In Our School and the UNITED SIKHS presented the winning films for the NIOS and United Sikhs Anti-Bullying Video Contest at the Gurdwara Sahib in Fremont, CA in June. The contest asked Sikh students from across the state to create short videos to share their anti-bullying message and teach peers of all backgrounds about the Sikh culture and religion. The goal of the contest was to promote intercultural understanding and to help create welcoming environments that are free of bullying.