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Not in Our School

About NIOS

Not In Our School is a program that creates safe, accepting and inclusive school communities. Not In Our School provides training, films, lesson plans and resources that inspire students to take the lead in standing up to bullying and intolerance in their schools.

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  •   Although unable to speak, read or write in English when she came to the United States in 2005, Jennifer Gaxiola's innate sense of self-...
  •   At age 12, Aitan Grossman was inspired by An Inconvenient Truth and began a journey that led him to use music to advocate for the...
  •   The Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF) is an artistic collective based in Sacramento, California.  It was founded in 1969 to express the...
  •   Florence Jones (1907-2003) was the spiritual leader and chief healer of the Winnemem Wintu tribe of Northern California. The...
  •   Tadashi Nakamura is a 30 year old, fourth-generation Japanese American and second-generation filmmaker. Besides carrying on his...
  •   During a dance performance on stage, Jackie Rotman's music suddenly stopped. In response, members of the audience joined Jackie on stage...
  • Waking in Oak Creek: A Community Rocked by Hate is Awakened and Transformed As the Sikh community in Oak Creek, Wisconsin prepares for Sunday...
  •   Vajra Watson founded SAYS: Sacramento Area Youth Speaks to give young people a voice through hip hop and spoken word. “We underestimate...
  • Republished from ChampionsofUnity.org. Find the original here.  Charlotta A. Bass stands among the most influential African Americans of the...
  • In 1995, Azim Khamisa's 20-year-old son, Tariq, was delivering a pizza when he was shot to death by a 14-year-old gang member. Experiencing the pain...
  •   SUGGESTED QUESTIONS FOR STUDENTS AFTER READING THE CHRISTMAS MENORAHS, VIEWING NOT IN OUR TOWN, OR VIEWING OR PERFORMING PAPER CANDLES. By Janice I. Cohn Fighting Bullies         The residents of Billings stood up to bullies despite the risks.
  •   The Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF) is an artistic collective based in Sacramento, California.  It was founded in 1969 to express the goals of the Chicano civil rights and labor organizing movement of the United Farm Workers. Its mission was to make available to the Chicano community a bilingual/bicultural arts center where artists could come together, exchange ideas, provide mutual support, and make available to the public artistic, cultural, and educational programs and events.
  •   At age 12, Aitan Grossman was inspired by An Inconvenient Truth and began a journey that led him to use music to advocate for the preservation of the natural landscape around him. He wrote a song, “100 Generations,” and started his own non-profit to raise funds for wildlife conservation. His goals were to raise awareness, have students from many countries record his song, and inspire young people that at any age, they could make a difference.
  • In this video, students use role-playing scenarios to depict experiences with prejudice or name-calling and practice effective interventions to combat or stop the bullying or harassment. This process can be an effective tool to use with students in your own classroom and school. Please use the guidelines below and review the “Note of Caution” to ensure a positive and productive experience.
  •  Overview:
  •   Slater Jewell-Kemker is a 17-year-old filmmaker and reporter who celebrates the best of humanity, empowering young people to change the world with media and technology. Through her work, Slater has empowered a global network of young environmentalists and met with important trendsetters and lawmakers. By using the tool of EXPRESS, Slater and the youth that join her are creating positive social change. This lesson addresses the following Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) strategies and you can have students look for these issues and examine them in themselves.
  •   Although unable to speak, read or write in English when she came to the United States in 2005, Jennifer Gaxiola's innate sense of self-worth compelled her to succeed.  
  • Engaging students in dialogue about prejudice and discrimination is a very powerful tool in combating hate and bullying and ensuring respectful classrooms and schools. Such dialogues can be led by classroom teachers, school social workers or counselors, or by other students trained to lead and facilitate dialogue.  Having students view the “Students Tune In and Speak Out” video to begin such a dialogue is an effective way to open this process.
  • Schools and college campuses are screening Not In Our Town: Class Actions across the country. Here we will compile ideas on how to use this PBS program in your classroom. Thanks to Newcomers High School (Long Island City, NY) teacher Julie Mann and Lakewood High School (Lakewood, OH) teacher Joe Lobozzo for preparing these comprehensive materials.  Pre-Screening Activities 
  •   Chukou Thao, executive director of National Hmong American Farmers, immigrated to Fresno, CA with his family at age 8, after Laotian citizens were granted asylum in the US after the Vietnam war. Many of the first Hmong farmers suffered from discrimination, so Thao left his "cushy" job at the city of Fresno to ORGANIZE his community in a fight against injustice. Using the experiences of community members, Thao has grown NHAF to promote economic development, training and assistance to create positive social change in his community.
  • Facing History and Ourselves combats racism, antisemitism, and religious prejudice by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe. Throughout history, young people have also played an important role in their communities and in social change movements. (For example, high school students were a driving force behind the U.S. civil rights movement and the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa.) Not in Our School videos help students explore some ways young people are making a difference in their communities today.
  • Engaging students in dialogue about prejudice and discrimination is a very powerful tool in combating hate and bullying and ensuring respectful classrooms and schools. Such dialogues can be led by classroom teachers, school social workers or counselors, or by other students trained to lead and facilitate dialogue.  Having students view the “Students Tune In and Speak Out” video to begin such a dialogue is an effective way to open this process.
  • Facing History and Ourselves combats racism, antisemitism, and religious prejudice by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe. The purpose of this lesson idea is to provide some general strategies for using any of the Not in Our School videos. We encourage you to check out other lesson ideas that Facing History and Ourselves has developed for specific Not in Our School videos and for using the website in general:
  • This video highlights a powerful activity called Dissolving Stereotypes. This activity can be used effectively with students or adults to explore experiences with stereotypes and hurtful words and ways to “dissolve” the hurt caused.  
  • While the students profiled in this video had a catalyst prompting them to hold a community anti-hate rally, this is not necessary to engage students or the larger community in conversations and learning about diversity and respect.   In fact, establishing these principals as priorities in your school -- to be discussed and affirmed not only in times of crisis -- can be very powerful in preventing incidents from occurring or if they do, to know there are established channels of support and response.  
  • As a result of the murder of Marcelo Lucero, there were many positive efforts in the community to embrace diversity and build respect for all. One of these was the creation of public art to reflect feelings and attitudes about the murder and to create a positive and hopeful message for the future. The use of art can be a wonderful way for students to express ideas about diversity, respect and social justice concerns. The following guideline provides instruction on how to lead such a process with students. Age-level: middle and high school students Note: This activity process will need to take place over several class periods or student-group meetings. If not an art teacher, consider joining with one to assist and support this process.  
  • In this video, students created an assembly performance that included individual presentations, role-playing scenarios and musical performances.  Any or all of these efforts represent exciting and creative ways for students to contribute their voice and perspectives to important social justice issues.   As this is a big undertaking, please review the following guidelines to assist in your planning and implementation.  
  • If interested in modeling this dialogue in your own classroom, please use the following guidelines to assist in ensuring a positive and productive discussion. This lesson is part of the Not In Our School Video Action Kit, a comprehensive toolkit featuring films, lessons, and resources designed to motivate students to speak out against bullying, and create new ways to make their schools safe for everyone. Age-level: middle and high school students  
  • The students profiled in this video acted as documentarians for their local community and its changing demographics, attitudes and experiences. The students used this data to inform their efforts to promote mutual respect and equality in their school. Providing students with the opportunity to research and explore the history of civil and social justice issues in their own communities can be a powerful tool for learning and reflection.  
  • In this video, students use role-playing scenarios to depict experiences with prejudice or name-calling and practice effective interventions to combat or stop the bullying or harassment. This process can be an effective tool to use with students in your own classroom and school. Please use the guidelines below and review the “Note of Caution” to ensure a positive and productive experience. This lesson is part of the Not In Our School Video Action Kit, a comprehensive toolkit featuring films, lessons, and resources designed to motivate students to speak out against bullying, and create new ways to make their schools safe for everyone.  

School Groups

Across the country, NIOS groups are creating new ways to make their schools safe for everyone. Start your own NIOS group page, and share how you're standing up for acceptance and inclusion!