Not In Our School (NIOS), a project of Not In Our Town, works with educators and students to not only respond to hate and bullying, but also to prevent it. NIOS is more than a program. It is a philosophy based upon the idea that safe and inclusive school environments are created when the entire community is aware of and takes action to address exclusionary or hurtful attitudes or acts that occur both in public and private.
To strengthen the application and impact of NIOT multimedia resources in schools, NIOT formed a partnership with Facing History and Ourselves, a national non-profit organization dedicated to education as the path to combating bigotry and nurturing democracy. Working with Facing History teachers, NIOT has produced a series of short films and lesson guides for use in classrooms. These films and guides are also available at notinourschool.org.
To further help guide the NIOS movement; leaders from across the United States formed the NIOS Educators Advisory Committee in 2011. With the Committee’s guidance, NIOS is building a greater network of schools that sponsor student-led campaigns with innovative methods to end bullying and harassment on campus. They also provide mini-grants, youth art and video contests, and opportunities for dialogue and engagement on the website.
Based on teacher feedback, NIOS created notinourschool.org in 2011 as an interactive web space for resources and ideas to help make classrooms and campuses safe and inclusive for all. At this website, educators, students and other interested school-based staff can find many resources and guidance for launching a NIOS campaign.
Not In Our School Case Studies
1. Not In Our School: Palo Alto
In Palo Alto, California, 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.
- Videos: Art Students Picture a World Without Intolerance, Dissolving Stereotypes, Students Tune in and Speak Out, Not In Our School Palo Alto Screening Premiere
- Local Lesson: Starting a Not In Our School Campaign
- Podcast: In this audio clip, JL Stanford Middle School counselor talks about why it's important to address name-calling and bullying in middle school. Listen now. Teachers interested in implementing similar discussions about prejudice and discrimination can use this activity guide.
2. Not In Our School: Lancaster
Inspired by Palo Alto's Not In Our School program, Lancaster, Calif. developed their own weeklong Not in Our Town Citywide Anti-Bullying program, bringing together the city and four school districts serving 50,000 students. The Not In Our Town video team documented their activities, including the student performance, "Darkness to Light," a memorial for seven students across the country lost to bullying.
- Videos: Lancaster, CA: A City Unites to End School Bullying, Lauri Massari: How We Started Not In Our School
- Blog post: "Kids create change on campus:" Not In Our Town Lancaster