Not In Our School

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I n the aftermath of one of the most divisive elections in recent history - as bullying, hate, and violence rise across the country - you know what's at stake. Not In Our School needs your support more than ever.

With 20 years of experience working with communities to prevent hate violence, we are focused on solutions and supporting local, on-the-ground action. Communities and schools across the country are asking for our films, online resources, and action plans. We can do something about the bigotry that's harming our children, our community, and our country, but we can't do it without you.

We are lucky to already have a network of educators who care and are working to create identity safe schools where students of all backgrounds  feel physically and emotionally safe, where each student thinks "I belong here" and "these people have my back." We have heard from the students who feel afraid, from their parents, and from teachers who have had to step in to stop acts of intimidation.

NIOS stepped up. In addition to sharing responses, we convened leaders of equity organizations to explore how to work together and amplify our reach. Our organizations represented more than 6 million educators, parents, and students from every state, from rural, urban, and suburban communities. We agreed to share tools across our networks (see below). Here are the messages that we hope you also will amplify in your circles.
  1. Safety for people of all identities and backgrounds.
  2. Courage to speak up and stand up, to intervene, and be an ally to stop hate, and bullying, and address intimidation on all sides of the political spectrum.
  3. Respectful Dialogue, engaging the facts in our evidence-based world while focusing on challenging ideas instead of attacking people.
  4. Protect our future, our civil liberties, our democratic institutions, our planet, and the right to learn.
Finally, we also want to share a bit more about how the secondary- focused NIOS Identity Safe and Inclusive School Program  can help in the process. Whether or not your school has a full equity-focused school climate program or you want to  teach classroom lessons with your students, or start a NIOS Club at your school, the new NIOS Guide has useful tools for you. You can find our more and purchase the program below.

We wish all of you a wonderful holiday season and look forward to working together with you in the new year.

Dr. Becki Cohn-Vargas, Director
Not In Our School

NIOS Identity Safe and Inclusive School Program  Available in Hard Copy or Download

The NIOS Identity Safe and Inclusive Schools Program is designed to accomplish the following:
  • To create a school climate of equity and identity safety, addressing bullying all forms of intolerance;
  • To put the students in the driver's seat to motivate their peers to become empathetic upstanders; and
  • To involve the entire community in efforts to create safe and inclusive environments.
The Program Guide follows 12 specific components for creating an identity safe school, broken into three sections:

Schoolwide Culture and Climate:
  1. Sustainable Structure
  2. Mission, Policies, and Rules
  3. Assessing School Climate
  4. Identity Safe School Plan
  5. Compassionate Staff
  6. Staff Professional Development
Student-Led Campaign:
7. Classroom Lessons
8. Student Leadership
9. Student-Led Campaign

Getting the Whole Community Involved:
10. Parent Education
11. Community Involved in the School
12. School Involved in the Community

Articles and Resources that Promote Understanding, Empathy, and Civics
The dynamic organizations listed below have created powerful tools and resources in response to the rise in hate crimes after the election. Please share widely using these hashtags: 

From Mica Pollock, anti-racism author and Professor at UCSD

The Trump Effect II: 
A Report on Post-Election Impact

In the first days after the 2016 presidential election, Teaching Tolerance administered an online survey to K-12 educators from across the country.
Over 10,000 teachers, counselors, administrators and others who work in schools have responded. The survey data indicate that the results of the election are having a profoundly negative impact on schools and students.

Ninety percent of educators report that school climate has been negatively affected, and most of them believe it will have a long-lasting impact.

Their report offers a synthesis of our survey results and recommendations for how to meet the post-election challenges participants described.

At NIOS, we too are collecting stories of inspiration, courage, and upstanding. Please send them