upstander | Page 2 | Not in Our Town


  During National Bullying Prevention Month we witnessed countless inspring stories of standing up. Here are two videos that feature the Not In Our School model on the Disney Channel and KPIX in San Francisco.   Disney Channel Showcases Student Upstanders   Now you can tune into the Disney Channel to see an anti-bullying campaign in action!   Students at Sunset Ridge Middle School in Utah covered their campus with Post-it notes that contained messages such as, “Not in our school” and “Stop hate together.” Disney Channel picked up on the activity and is now featuring it as part of their Make Your Mark campaign, reaching nearly 100 million homes in the U.S.   
  In the latest video for National Bullying Prevention month, we showcase a truly extraordinary upstander, DeMonte. 
  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. 
"I was a victim and a bully and I could have continued that cycle of violence, but I didn’t. I chose a different path."NIOS Director Becki Cohn-Vargas met teen Melvin Mendez when he contacted her for support around his senior project on bullying at Lighthouse Charter School in Oakland, CA. Over the course of the year, she and Melvin met many times as he planned an ambitious project to research bullying and then proceed to educate his teachers, along with fellow students and parents. She discovered later that she was the first person who heard his story of being bullied, one that not even his mother learned until recently. Now Melvin has begun to train fifth graders at his school. Melvin received a standing ovation when he delivered this speech to afterschool coordinators and teachers at the Bridging the Bay Conference in Oakland, CA on Feb. 2. NIOS table at the Bridging the Bay Conference in February. By Melvin Mendez
  "I was just doing what I thought was right, and here I am on the stage at Warner Bros. Studio, being featured on the Season 10 premiere of the Ellen show and I’m within arm's reach of all these celebrities that are here to help me?" By Richard W. Henegar Jr. Jordan Addison (left) and Richard Henegar Jr., Mike Shaw | The Burgs This spring, I received an email from an old friend who asked if I knew anyone who could help a student fix his car. The email had several attachments: images that were disturbing to say the least, but most of all, made me angry. They were pictures of a young man’s car that had been severely vandalized. This was obviously a hate crime.
Bullying Prevention Month has people talking and taking action across the country. Here are a couple of our favorite anti-bullying initiatives taking place this week: BULLY: Coming to 50 cities October 12!   BULLY will be coming to 50 cities on Friday, Oct. 12 in honor of Bullying Prevention Month. The documentary has been seen by more than 200,000 kids and has ignited an important discussion about bullying in schools.   To see if the movie is playing in your city, check out their blog   Facing History and Ourselves: “Upstander Contest” is on now!
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.
From ColorLines: Read article, "Hate Speech Flourishes Online" Being an upstander is not easy. Just ask J. Ryan Leach, a student at the University of Virginia, who has been a rare voice in online forums to speak up for tolerance. In his hometown of Mechanicsville, VA, crime stories in the news attract racist comments.