Not in Our School | Page 5 | 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.

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  •   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.
  •   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 
  •   "Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. And you cannot oppress a people who are not afraid anymore. We are the future, and the future is ours."
  •   Janet Miller, a teacher at Hoover Middle School, said that she was blown away by district-wide statistics that revealed the risk of violence that transgendered youth experience. Moved by the statistics, Miller made an impassioned plea to her colleagues that it was their responsibility to create a safe learning environment for ALL students and that any type of discrimination should not be tolerated. This lesson addresses the following SEL strategies and you can have students look for these issues and examine them in themselves.
  • Facing History and Ourselves combats racism, antisemitism, and religious prejudice by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe.
  • Lesson Idea from Facing History and Ourselves   Overview  
  •   Dr. Joseph Marshall Jr. is an author, activist, and veteran street soldier. Founder of the anti-violence movement Alive & Free, Marshall draws audiences from across the country to his weekly radio program, Street Soldiers—a name Dr. Marshall uses to describe people working to eliminate violence in their communities. To help keep his own community safer, Dr. Marshall co-founded the Omega Boys Club after years of working as a middle school teacher and seeing too many of his students lost to drugs and violence.
  •   Alex Epstein is a college student who, during high school, was compelled to help rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Using the tool of VOLUNTEER, Alex made multiple trips and engaged with the local community. Alex took initiative and helped found NY2NO, or New York to New Orleans, to involve other young people in the revitalization of the New Orleans landscape.
  • 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 I.    Role-playing:   Put students into groups of 3.  Give out the role-play scenarios. Explain to your students that they will be acting out these scenes. It is their job to create a positive ending, one in which the bullying is prevented.  Have each group perform the scenario and have the class analyze the scene to see what positive solution they created. Write down all the positive solutions on a poster as possible antidotes to bullying.
  • 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: BullyingSupport Upstander Bystander Guidance counsellor Questions:
  • 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   Questions: How does one hate crime affect an entire community? What strategies did Bloomington United use to fight against the hate crime? When the rabbi was given a ball at the school basketball game, what message did that send to hate groups? What can we learn from Bloomington United? What risks do people in this part of the film take by acting? Why is it worth it for them to take those risks?  
  • 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:   KKK Confederacy Segregation African-American Dixie Questions: How would you feel as a student of color at Ole Miss while students chant “The South Will Rise Again”? How do you feel about the student group who met to fight against the discriminatory chanting? How do you feel about the chancellor’s decision to stop the discriminatory chant at the football games? Here are the words of the University of Mississippi Creed. What does it mean to you?  
  • 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 Journal 1: Your friend is in an empty hallway (no teachers) being verbally attacked by some older, tougher students because of his different style of dress. What would you do? How would you feel? Why? (Pair/share when finished)
  • Created by Facing History and Ourselves   Overview   In this lesson idea, the short video “Cyberbullying” is explored through teaching strategies such as pre-viewing, anticipation guides, four corners, evaluating Internet resources, fishbowl and levels of questions. By learning about cyberbullying and how students in Watchung are taking a stand against online bullying, students may think more deeply about this in their own community.   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.   Materials   Paper
  • Created by Facing History and Ourselves    Overview
  •  Created by Facing History and Ourselves Esta lección también está disponble en español.  Overview
  • Created by Facing History and Ourselves Overview 
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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!