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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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  • Each school’s anti-bullying efforts contribute new and exciting ideas to share with others. Read how Abbott Middle School in San Mateo, CA has created a Campus Climate Committee with a range of exciting and interactive activities. As part of this work, Abbott teachers have also made a “promise” to support their students. Abbott has embarked upon a spirited campaign to decrease bullying, and more to the point, create a community of citizens that value treating one another with respect and empathy.
  •   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.
  • Facing History and Ourselves combats racism, antisemitism, and religious prejudice by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe.
  • The Public Service Announcement (PSA), “Break Bullying,” depicts adults in an office environment re-enacting the director’s personal bullying experience from middle school. His point: If we would not stand for this in the office, why do we stand for it happening to kids in schools? 
  •   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. Now a fifth grade teacher in Watts, CA, Laurence uses the tool of TEACH to inspire and educate students in an area where opportunities are slim. Laurence has also helped establish the Watts Youth Collective with former students, an organization that promotes social change through media. Laurence’s 12-hour teaching days and his work with the collective are efforts to produce positive changes in each individual and the community.
  •   "We are all Americans in this country." —Fred Korematsu (1919-2005) When Japanese-Americans were sent to camps during World War II, Fred Korematsu refused to go, saying, "I am an American." His 40-year fight became a symbol of equality and freedom. On January 30, 2011, California celebrated its first Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution marking the 69th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 that legalized the internment.
  • 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.”
  •  Overview:
  • 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)
  • Facing History and Ourselves combats racism, antisemitism, and religious prejudice by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe. This lesson idea is part of a collection of resources Facing History and Ourselves has developed to support classroom use of Not in Our School materials. Other resources in this collection include:
  • Facing History and Ourselves combats racism, antisemitism, and religious prejudice by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe. Many teenagers feel like they have little influence on the world around them. Yet, 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.  

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!