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October Bullying Prevention Month is almost over. But there is still time to take action!  All month long, we have discussed bullying and showcased creative ways to address it. During Week 1, we premiered the video “Break Bullying: Not in the Breakroom, Not on the Playground.” This video addressed the urgency and seriousness of bullying, and was featured on the CNN Schools of Thought website and viewed over 50,000 times!  For Week 2, we showed that anyone can speak up and stand up to bullying. We shared innovative and creative ways to be upstanders, people who speak up and stand up to bullying and intolerance.  And for Week 3, we made efforts to put an end to cyberbullying. We shared our film, “Students Take On Cyberbullying.” We also shared how students from the film joined a cyberbullying panel discussion on a MTV-sponsored “Digital Citizenship Day.”
How to Start Your NIOS Club What is a NIOS Club and What Are Its Benefits? A NIOS club is a group of students at a school site who lead activities to make their school safe, accepting, and inclusive and also address bullying and intolerance. The club serves as a hub for NIOS work and assures that NIOS initiatives are student-led. NIOS clubs can influence a shift and transformation to create an identity-safe school climate. An identity safe climate is one where students from all ethnic and religious groups, gender orientation and backgrounds feel welcomed and included. Determine Who Will Participate A NIOS club works best when it has representatives from many groups at school. The club can either be a coalition of members from different clubs or its own unique club. In either case, it is good to coordinate with the other student clubs on campus. Student leaders from all sectors (ASB, sports, different ethnic clubs, Gay-Straight Alliance) who influence others make good members. Also consider recruiting some students who are not already the most successful. While it takes a bit more time, you might see that a student can transform as they move into the role of leadership in a meaningful way. It is also important to have students from various grade levels to assure continuity from year to year.
California Sikh Youth Voices Promoting Diversity: A Video Contest Share Your Story about Sikh Culture and Your Experiences Standing Up to Bullying The goal of the Sikh Youth Voices video contest is to create more awareness and understanding of Sikh culture and to help schools create more welcoming and inclusive environments that are free of bullying. Not In Our School and UNITED SIKHS are proud to share student-made videos on our websites for use in classrooms across the country and the world. We believe that building, understanding and creating awareness of Sikh culture as well as solutions to bullying will help make schools safer and more inclusive for all students. Sharing stories through the voices of Sikh youth is a wonderful way to make that happen. We are seeking youth-made videos that share the following:
As the nation responds to the devastating effects of bullying, it is important to highlight the crucial role of an upstander. An upstander is a person who speaks up or stands up to bullying and intolerance, either to prevent or intervene when someone is being harmed. By Becki Cohn-Vargas, Not In Our School Director I, for one, would not be here if it were not for an upstander. My father’s family barely escaped the Holocaust after Kristallnacht, the “Night of Broken Glass” in Berlin on Nov. 9, 1938. He and his family found refuge in Shanghai, China.
By Dr. Becki Cohn-Vargas, Not In Our School Director Not In Our School was honored to be part of the SF Bay Area Stop Bullying Summit, the kick-off event in a series of anti-bullying activities across the Bay Area. The summit was part of a larger initiative where thousands of students—literally all middle and high school students in the San Francisco Unified and Oakland School Districts—viewed the Bully documentary directed by Lee Hirsch. Students in San Mateo County will view the film in October. NIOS participated in planning, served on a panel of effective strategies, and also facilitated a Q&A for Oakland students who viewed Bully. San Francisco Summit: Leaders ConvergeThe summit, sponsored by Northern California District U.S. Attorney's Office, featured a lineup of civic leaders, school superintendents, the Department of Justice, law enforcement, and community organizations. Convened by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, speakers included Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas Perez (read his speech here).
  “It’s not just, oh, you get bullied and the next year it gradually tapers off and you’re a normal person. It sticks with you your entire life. I still get these occasional feelings, like I’m not good enough. I never felt anything like that before the ninth grade.” Mike Nelson, now a successful ad agency producer, knows how devastating bullying can be. He brought his own experience to a video PSA, "Break Bullying," that shows how shockingly degrading and harmful bullying can look if seen it from the perspective of an adult. (See Nelson’s bullying story below.) “Kids aren’t going to accept something that’s watered down,” said Nelson, head of production at MAKE. “Let’s get real about this.” MAKE is based in Minneapolis, Minn. and does commercial work for companies such as McDonalds, Target, Burger King and Blue Cross Blue Shield. Two years ago, the team began creating PSAs pro bono around issues they were passionate about and donating the PSAs to organizations they supported, including the Salvation Army, Animal Humane Society, Second Harvest Food Bank and the National Fatherhood Initiative.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. NIOS is joining organizations across the country that are taking a stand against bullying. Not In Our School is kicking off National Bullying Prevention Month with a powerful anti-bullying public service announcement, “Break Bullying” (above) donated to Not In Our Town by MAKE, a professional ad agency.  The PSA depicts adults in an office environment re-enacting the director’s personal bullying experience from middle school. His point: If we would not stand for this in the office, why do we stand for it happening to kids in schools? It is a call to action for everyone to take bullying seriously.  Students and teachers alike are reporting visceral responses to the PSA. You will hear a few bleeps—but those bleeps, unedited, are what kids experience daily in their schools.  Join the thousands who are taking action during bullying prevention month.  Post this video on your Facebook page, share the link with your friends, speak up and stand up to bullying in your community. 
With Not In Our School, move into action for a safe, accepting and inclusive school. Six simple solutions: If you are being bullied: tell them to stop, get away from the situation, and tell a trusted adult. If you see someone being bullied, be an upstander: Tell the person to stop, get a trusted adult, reach out and be friends. With your children: Listen and support your children. Work with the school to be sure your child is safe. In Your School: Learn and help train all adults and youth on how to recognize and respond to bullying. With Others Who Care: Start a Not In Our School Anti-bullying Club where youth lead in finding solutions. In Your School and the Entire Community: Create an identity-safe climate where all people are respected. Start today to address bullying and intolerance with these additional resources from Stop It On the Spot — Respond — Prevent and Build a Safe Community
  Scott Hannah and Tyler Gregory make up the NoBull Guys, national   spokespeople for The Great American NO BULL Challenge. Photo. Is it possible for two students to change the perspective that millions of youth have on bullying? We think so, in fact, we are doing everything it takes to be those two students. We call ourselves The NoBull Guys, and we are on a mission to inspire bravery and make the world a kinder place. We embarked on our journey when we heard about the suicide of 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer. We realized that this could have been anyone in our community, one of our friends, or one of our siblings. We wanted suffering victims of bullying to realize that they have a reason to live and that they are worth something to somebody, no matter who they are.
  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.