ohio | Not in Our Town


By Luke Grabski  I read an article recently called “An American Tragedy” by Nuanihal Singh from August 2012, shortly after a white supremacist opened fire in the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The article raises awareness about the lack of awareness about the horrible events that took place. While reading how Singh was concerned that the national media treated “the massacre in Oak Creek … as a tragedy for Sikhs in America rather than a tragedy for all Americans,” I reflected on my recent experience at the Not In Our Town National Leadership Gathering. Almost two years after the massacre in Oak Creek, I sat in a large room in the Northern Hotel in Billings, Montana as family members and survivors of the shooting sat on a panel about the actions they’ve taken to prevent these situations in the future.
Bowling Green Community Stands Together Against Racist Tweets, Again
   Shawyawn Sekhavat and U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan Shawyawn Sekhavat played a leadership role in the Not In Our School anti-bullying campaign at Orange High School in Pepper Pike, OH. Their campaign was filmed and shown at the White House and is featured in the BULLY Educator DVD & Toolkit. After graduating from high school in 2011, Shawyawn is now a pre-med student at Ohio University. He was one of two students who joined Not In Our School at the National PTA’s Youth Leadership Summit in Cincinnati this June. Here, Shawyawn shares his experience joining other leaders and encouraging students to be upstanders.   By Shawyawn Sekhavat The Youth Leadership Summit sponsored by the National PTA was a phenomenal way for student leaders to share their stories to help inspire youth to act out against bullying. As one of the student leaders, this was a great chance for me to showcase what my school, Orange High School in Pepper Pike, OH, has done with the Not In Our School program.
Mural defaced by hate graffitti near OSU campus. Photo Source: The Lantern Students at Ohio State University use new media technology to take a stand against a series of hate crimes that took place on their campus over the past few weeks. On April 5, students were horrified to learn that the words “Long Live Zimmerman” were spray-painted on the wall of the Black Cultural Center. Shortly after this incident, three swastikas along with the word “N----rs” were spray painted over a mural of President Obama.
        "By the end of the year, the whole school was really pumped. One of the social workers in the school asked every club to take a section of the school and make it their anti-bullying zone. So the football team right away took the locker room, and the spirit club took the hallways, and so on." Gail Price, Orange High School teacher Last year, our filmmakers documented anti-bullying efforts in Gail Price's classroom in the short film, "Students Map Bully Zones to Create a Safer School." Price is a Facing History teacher at Orange High School in Pepper Pike, OH. 
 In Cleveland, Ohio, Not In Our Town partner Facing History is unveiling an exciting new exhibit: Choosing To Participate, “a multifaceted educational and civic initiative that challenges us to think deeply about what democracy means and what it asks of each of us.” Consisting of a travelling multimedia exhibit, public events, and a website that allows users to participate in the exhibit and access online resources, Choosing To Participate is a truly innovative and essential new initiative.