upstander | Not in Our Town


We are seeing a tidal wave of concern about the prevalence of bullying everywhere. What can each of us do? Be an upstander.
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What is an upstander? An upstander is an individual who sees wrong and acts. A person who takes a stand against an act of injustice or intolerance is not a “positive bystander,” they are an UPstander. The word itself has the ability to empower students to make an active change in their schools, in an effort to build communities that support difference and unify against intolerance.
Zakk Silveira, lead vocals and guitar player for the UPstanding band, Galvanized Souls, shares his own story about how he was bullied when he was younger and how Colin's story touched his heart. Galvanized Souls' song "Carry On" is an inspiring message to teach those who are victims of bullying that there is hope. All you have to do is carry on!
Colin, who is featured in the music video Carry On by Galvanized Souls, experienced relentless bullying at school. Read his heartwarming story that touched over 2 million people around the world. In this blog, you can also watch the story behind Galvanized Soul's music video for Carry On. Learn more about National Bullying Prevention Month to discover what you can do to be an upstander and prevent bullying in your school.
In honor of National Bullying Prevention Month, Not In Our School has partnered with alternative rock band Galvanized Souls. Southern California is buzzing about the band, not only because of the impressive caliber of their original music, but because they are also a young band that takes a stand. They have produced some of the most powerful music videos to convey the message to their peers to believe in themselves and to carry on.
Tracy Maier attends an awards ceremony for daughter Hanna, as she receives the Upstander of the Week award from The Bully Project.  Tracy Maier is a Pennsylvania mom who moved into action after her child was bullied. She contacted Not In Our School to help not only her daughter, but all the children in her area who have been bullied and asked for help in getting things started in her community. Since that time, we have been in touch as both Tracy and her daughter Hanna have become leaders, taking risks, speaking with civic leaders, and organizing campaigns—all things that they never had done before. It is an example of how anyone can step up. Photos of Tracy and her daughter’s activities are featured in the Not In Our School Parent Guide. —Becki Cohn-Vargas, Not In Our School Director Tell us about your school community.
Elementary students create “upstander” club  Students of Elm Grove Elementary school in Bossier City, LA created an anti-bullying club with the motto “Be an upstander not a bystander.” A dozen students who have felt the effects of bullying meet twice a month in Robin Webb’s 5th grade class to learn how to stand up against bullying, according to KSLA News. “It helps me know that I have other members that will help me if I’m being bullied,” 9-year-old Mathew told KSLA News. Webb started the club because her son, Orrin, who is now a soldier, had been bullied as a child.
After Sarah Decker and Monica Mahal participated in the citywide White-Out Against Bullying event at Watchung Hills Regional High School in New Jersey, they became dedicated to spreading awareness about the issue of bullying. Now in college, Sarah and Monica continue to promote the importance of being an upstander. By Sarah Decker and Monica Mahal Upstander. This word needs to become part of of our everyday lives. An upstander is a person who chooses to take positive action in the face of injustice in society or in situations where individuals need assistance. Bullying, hate crimes, and intolerance can be actively prevented in many cases simply by standing up for the victim and using your voice or your actions to stand against injustice.
There are important lessons on both bullying and speaking up that are happening right in front of our eyes. Recently, leading anti-bullying expert Emily Brazelton shared the results of the bullying investigation for the Miami Dolphins, after the pro football team’s bullying scandal. It serves as a case study to help everyone understand tackle Jonathan Martin’s courage to speak up and open his personal struggles to the world, which will help all of us learn the terrible impact of bullying, hate, racist and homophobic teasing. After reading the article, watch this new film “Auto Body Shop Owner Repairs Hearts After Hate Attack.” It features Quality Auto Paint & Body owner Richard Henegar, who hears that a local college student is the victim of an anti-gay hate attack and decides to help. Not only does Richard repair Jordan Addison's vandalized car, he brings his entire community together. Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres featured the two men on her 10th season premiere. Richard is also honored by his alma mater, Lord Botetourt High School who highlighted how one person can make a difference.