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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...
  • 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 video, "Lancaster, California: A City United to End School Bullying," profiles students, educators and community members working to create change after two teen suicides, resulting from bullying, devastate two nearby towns. In the aftermath, a local middle school counselor initiates an anti-bullying program throughout the district and students take the lead in standing up to bullying and intolerance in their schools and community. 
  • Palo Alto High School student Kevin Ward challenges the stereotype of African-Americans as "gangsters," and says that "smart is the new gangster." The 16-year-old is working to bridge the achievement gap for students of color, through the school's Unity Club and a program called Bridge, connecting students from affluent Palo Alto and East Palo Alto, a neighboring low-income community. This lesson addresses the following SEL strategies. You can have students look for these issues and examine them in themselves.
  • Este video destaca una actividad interactiva llamada “Disolviendo estereotipos.” Se puede usar de manera efectiva con alumnos o adultos para explorar experiencias que han tenido en relación con los estereotipos y palabras hirientes, así como formas para “disolver” el daño causado.
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  • Three Films Produced and Directed by Sikh Youth
  • 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 back to his native Los Angeles, witnessing the destruction that gang violence had wrought on his old neighborhood. As an administrator for the Parks Department, Cox became the director of the South Park Recreation Center and began efforts to improve the park.
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  • Created by Facing History and Ourselves Overview 
  • Additional Writing Activities for Not In Our School Films and the Video Action Kit NIOS films and lesson plans can be used in academic courses that address writing and health. Here are some activities that can be added to address Common Core State Standards in areas of Writing and Critical Thinking.
  • 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!