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not in our school

On the edge of the Mojave Desert in California, educators, political leaders, and students face the dangers of bullying after teen suicides devastate two nearby towns. A local middle school counselor initiates an anti-bullying program throughout the district and students take the lead in standing up to hate in their community. This story is part of the Not In Our Town program, Class Actions, that premieres nationwide on PBS stations in February 2012. What began as one educator’s effort to create a safer environment for her middle school campus blossomed into a citywide movement. “We had two suicides that happened within 50 miles of our school and our town,” Del Sur School counselor Lauri Massasri says in Class Actions. “When something like this happens so close to your own community it's a wake-up call and you realize that this could happen to any one of us and we've got to do something a little bit more because apparently what we were doing isn’t working isn’t enough.”
The current Not In Our School contests, challenges and grants. NIOS Class Actions Campaign Art Contest Submit student-generated artwork with a message of inclusion and respect of students of all backgrounds, races, religions, and gender identitiesDeadline: April 30, 2012. Read about the 2012 winners. Educator Mini-Grant Online Application Apply for a mini-grant to carry out a Not in Our School: Class Actions campaign in your classroom or at your school. Deadline: April 30, 2012. Read about the 2012 winners. Not in Our School What do YOU Say Video Challenge  Students can produce What do YOU say? 1-minute videos and submit them to NIOS. Deadline: April 30, 2012. Read about the 2012 winners.
OVERVIEW   Not In Our Town (NIOT) a project of The Working Group, is a national movement that encourages community response to hate since 1995.  NIOT has produced more than 80 films combining PBS broadcast, grassroots events, educational and online tools and activities to help communities battle hate and learn from each other. The purpose of the Not in Our School program is to help students take steps to create more tolerant, inclusive and respectful school communities. Please view our short film, “What is Not in Our School?” at   The NIOS Class Actions campaign is a network of schools and districts that are implementing NIOS initiatives on their campuses.   Would you like to carry out  a Not in Our School: Class Actions campaign in your classroom or at your school? Find out about NIOS and what other schools have done.   This contest is closed for 2012. Read about the 2012 winners.   Apply for a Teacher Mini-Grant to make your dream a reality!   Open only to K-12 Educators Quick and easy reporting requirements
Working closely alongside Facing History and Ourselves, Not in Our School spent the past year documenting student efforts to address issues of concern in their schools. From posting positive messages on Facebook to taking on a social action project or simply speaking out against bullying, students across the nation have taken a step towards tolerance and acceptance with the guidance of their teachers. Thanks to support from the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust, we produced five short films with accompanying Facing History lesson guides that address issues such as cyberbullying--and highlight peer-to-peer solutions. To view the films and the accompanying lesson guides, follow the links below: Students Take On Cyberbullying A Facebook campaign to spread positive messages, invented to counter cyberbullying by Watchung, N.J. students. Stand Up, Stand Out: No Checking, No Capping, No Bullying
“We felt like we were part of something bigger, sharing what we were doing, and the idea of being leaders was very inspiring.” — Becki Cohn Vargas, Ed.D. Dr. Becki Cohn-Vargas is a veteran educator and longtime ally of Not In Our Town. In this piece, penned in 2008, Dr. Cohn-Vargas lays out the lessons from the Palo Alto Unified School District, which embraced Not In Our School activities in 2007. Although Dr. Cohn-Vargas is no longer with the district, she has been instrumental in developing Not In Our School programs and the Palo Alto district’s Not In Our Schools month continues to thrive. Since 2007, the Palo Alto Unified School District has sponsored Not In Our School Palo Alto, a districtwide annual month-long event where students, teachers, administrators and parents engage in activities and discussions about how to address hate, bullying, and harassment at school.
Right before the Thanksgiving holiday, we shipped off our next film, Not In Our Town: Class Actions to PBS.  Not in Our Town: Class Actions features three stories of students and their communities standing together to stop hate and bullying. Premieres on PBS stations in 2012.  Fifty years after James Meredith became the first black student at the segregated University of Mississippi, football fans resurface the chant, “The South will rise again.” Student leaders confront the divisive practice, sparking a campus visit from the Ku Klux Klan and a peaceful counter demonstration led by the student organization One Mississippi. Photo Credit: William Bender The college town of Bloomington, Ind., shocked after a Korean student was murdered by a white supremacist a decade ago, bands together again after anti-Semitic attacks on the eve of Hanukkah. Photo Credit: Bloomington Herald Times
This week's broadcast of Anderson Cooper's special report: "Bullying: It Stops Here" on CNN and Lady Gaga's recent announcement that she will go to the U.S. president to address the bullying problem has brought bullying onto the national agenda.    But solutions are out there. Across the country, students and teachers are sharing stories, joining together and taking action to create safe schools, free from stereotypes, intolerance, and hate. They're part of a movement called Not In Our School. Here are three short videos that introduce you to the breadth of student and teacher-led movements.  What is Not In Our School?   Students Map Bully Zones to Create a Safer School  
KQED is broadcasting an updated version of our Not In Our School: Palo Alto program. This broadcast includes Gunn High School's recent response to the Westboro Baptist Church, a short video that went viral on Not In Our Town's YouTube channel and some recent footage from Gunn's Not In Our School week this year. Below you'll find a list of all 13 summer showtimes. On this KQED page, you can also sign up for email reminders of a particular airing. The program will also be repeated when school is back in session during the fall. Program Description In Palo Alto, student leaders, administrators and teachers put on an annual Not in Our School month of activities about preventing intolerance, including class discussions, a dissolving stereotypes pool, "Not In Our Town" video screenings, and student-produced videos. Palo Alto's Not In Our School month has become a model for engaging students in discussion and action against intolerance and bullying. Channels & Airdates KQED 9
“NIOS Week lessons in the classroom are really powerful because the teachers and students share experiences. This creates a greater sense of connectedness between classmates, teachers and the school,” NIOS co-facilitator Todd Summers told the Gunn High School newspaper, The Oracle, earlier this year.
"Every time I see someone get bullied, I step in. No matter what age they are, if I know them or not, it doesn't matter." —Orange High School student Today, we feature one of our newest Not In Our School videos. In this film, students from Orange High School in Pepper Pike, Ohio, identify bully zones around their campus and stage a flash mob performance in their cafeteria to highlight bullying they've witnessed: verbal, physical and cyberbullying.  To find out more about the Not In Our School initiative visit For more free videos of students and teachers creating safer school environments visit This video is also available on Teacher Tube.