Not in Our School | Not in Our Town

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.

Find Lesson Plans

  •   Janet Miller, a teacher at Hoover Middle School, said that she was blown away by district-wide statistics that revealed the risk of...
  •   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...
  •   Vajra Watson founded SAYS: Sacramento Area Youth Speaks to give young people a voice through hip hop and spoken word. “We underestimate...
  •   On the anniversary of the American Disabilities Act, a group of disability rights advocates march in solidarity to assert their rights as...
  • As a former pro football player, Brian Cox understands the value of teamwork and community in achieving a goal. After retiring from the NFL, Cox came...
  •   SUGGESTED QUESTIONS FOR STUDENTS AFTER READING THE CHRISTMAS MENORAHS, VIEWING NOT IN OUR TOWN, OR VIEWING OR PERFORMING PAPER CANDLES....
  •   Janet Miller, a teacher at Hoover Middle School, said that she was blown away by district-wide statistics that revealed the risk of...
  •   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-...
  •   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...
  •   Vajra Watson founded SAYS: Sacramento Area Youth Speaks to give young people a voice through hip hop and spoken word. “We underestimate...
  •   On the anniversary of the American Disabilities Act, a group of disability rights advocates march in solidarity to assert their rights as...
  • As a former pro football player, Brian Cox understands the value of teamwork and community in achieving a goal. After retiring from the NFL, Cox came...
  •   SUGGESTED QUESTIONS FOR STUDENTS AFTER READING THE CHRISTMAS MENORAHS, VIEWING NOT IN OUR TOWN, OR VIEWING OR PERFORMING PAPER CANDLES....
  •   The son of Filipino immigrants, Laurence Tan was studying to be a doctor when the vision of becoming a teacher presented itself in a dream...
  • As a former pro football player, Brian Cox understands the value of teamwork and community in achieving a goal. After retiring from the NFL, Cox came...
  • Palo Alto High School student Kevin Ward challenges the stereotype of African-Americans as "gangsters," and says that "smart is the new gangster."...
  • In this new video geared toward elementary schools, students from Grimmer Elementary School in Fremont, CA explore the impact of bullying and...
  •   The son of Filipino immigrants, Laurence Tan was studying to be a doctor when the vision of becoming a teacher presented itself in a dream...
  •   Dr. Joseph Marshall Jr. is an author, activist, and veteran street soldier. Founder of the anti-violence movement Alive & Free,...
  •   "Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person...
  •   Chukou Thao, executive director of National Hmong American Farmers, immigrated to Fresno, CA with his family at age 8, after Laotian...
  •   Slater Jewell-Kemker is a 17-year-old filmmaker and reporter who celebrates the best of humanity, empowering young people to change the...
  •   SUGGESTED QUESTIONS FOR STUDENTS AFTER READING THE CHRISTMAS MENORAHS, VIEWING NOT IN OUR TOWN, OR VIEWING OR PERFORMING PAPER CANDLES....
  •   Kiki is an extraordinary Sacramento student who, through her perseverance, strong character, and ability to forgive, has been able to...
  • 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
  • Find previews and information about Class Actions at niot.org/ClassActions Written by: Julie Mann, Newcomers High School teacher, and Joe Lobozzo, Lakewood High School teacher
  •  
  •   During a dance performance on stage, Jackie Rotman's music suddenly stopped. In response, members of the audience joined Jackie on stage and began dancing to show their support. Expanding on the idea that dance can help foster a positive atmosphere, Jackie began providing hip-hop classes free of charge to youth that would not otherwise be able to afford them.
  •   Tadashi Nakamura is a 30 year old, fourth-generation Japanese American and second-generation filmmaker. Besides carrying on his parents’ work—his mother is writer/producer Karen L. Ishizuka and his father is director Robert A. Nakamura—Nakamura seeks to tell his community’s history to a new generation. The first film of the trilogy was Yellow Brotherhood (2003), a personal documentary focused on the meaning of friendship and community through the Yellow Brotherhood youth organization, which was formed in the 1960s to combat youth drug use.
  • 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.
  • Find previews and information about Class Actions at niot.org/ClassActions Written by: Julie Mann, Newcomers High School teacher, and Joe Lobozzo, Lakewood High School teacher Vocabulary: Hate crime Anti-semitism Hanukah Menorah Rabbi  
  •  
  •   Florence Jones (1907-2003) was the spiritual leader and chief healer of the Winnemem Wintu tribe of Northern California. The Wintu have called the McCloud River Watershed near Mount Shasta home for more than 1000 years, but were not provided a reservation as gold miners and pioneers drove them away in the name of industry. Although the Wintu’s numbers have dwindled from over 14,000 when contact with non-Natives was recorded to only 395, Jones has been at the forefront of a fight to save sacred sites and their way of live.
  • 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.
  • 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.  
  • 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. 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.
  • Download the full lesson guide that accompanies Our Family. Background:
  • Gunn High School in the Palo Alto Unified School District has held a Not In Our School campaign at their school for nearly a decade. The objective of the weeklong campaign is to “promote acceptance, awareness and identity within the PAUSD community” and “to help the Gunn community increase understanding and encourage discussion about the diversity and race relations Gunn.”
  • From Facing History teacher Julie Mann, who is screening the full-length documentary Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness with her students at Newcomers High School in Queens, NY.   There are two documents. The first begins discussion using several short clips available on NIOT.org: the Light in the Darkness trailer, Joselo's Journey Part 1, Raising the Curtain on Unity and Embracing Differences, all of which can be found here.  The second document provides discussion questions for small groups after screening the full-length film.  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!