At some point, every kid becomes a bystander—someone who witnesses bullying but doesn’t get involved. Instead, you can be an upstander, a person who knows what’s happening is wrong and does something to make things right. It takes courage to speak up on someone’s behalf. But just think: by doing so, you are becoming a person of character and also helping someone else.
Here are some things you can safely do:
Do not worry—you are not ratting out the bully by telling an adult. There’s a big difference between tattling and reporting a concern. Tattling is telling to get someone IN trouble, reporting is telling to get someone OUT of trouble.
From an article by By Becki Cohn-Vargas, Not In Our School Director. From Child Abuse Prevention Services (CAPS).
Phase II of Abbott’s No Bully Program kicked off on Monday, September 10. Guest speaker, Anne Brownell, founder of Amanda’s Network, was the guest speaker at three student assemblies during the day and an evening parent meeting.
The goal of this anti-bullying campaign is to bring more awareness and education on the issue of bullying. By sharing Amanda’s story with our communities and schools, we encourage all to treat everyone with respect and take a stand against all forms of bullying in their presence.
Amanda Network Pledge: “I pledge to not allow bullying in my presence. If I don’t report it, I am just as guilty.”
Students and staff were given purple wrist bands after taking the pledge to stop bullying on our campus. Parents and students were also given a purple neck scarf to symbolize their support for Amanda’s Network (brochure) and Abbott’s No Bully Program.
In the video below from "On the Road" series, Steve Hartman meets a New York photographer who asks strangers on the street to pose as though they're couples, friends or family.
Download the word map (created in WordFlex) to learn more about empathy.
Nelson Mandela, the globally recognized champion of human rights, helped to shape his nation, the African continent, and the entire world. His work of bringing community together against hatred and intolerance aligns perfectly with the mission of Not In Our Town, and he will continue to serve as inspiration for us along with countless others.
Mandela grew up in a society which considered him, at best, a second-class citizen. Apartheid--literally, “apartness” in Afrikaans--was the law, a system which favored the small minority of white South Africans. The much larger black population was ghettoized, restricted from voting, and received inferior social services to the white Afrikaners. After studying law in university, Mandela became involved in anti-colonial politics, and at the age of 44, he was convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the all-white government and sentenced to life in prison for planning to overthrow the all-white government. He would spend the next 27 years locked away, but even these decades behind bars couldn’t quell his activist spirit, as he continued to fight for human rights from his jail cell.
One of Mandela’s most remarkable traits has always been his disavowal of vengeance, despite enduring a lifetime of injustices. After his release from prison, he was elected president of South Africa in 1994, in the first national elections where anyone of age could vote, regardless of skin color. Mandela set a national tone of compassion and forgiveness as he worked to rebuild a broken and divided country.
He helped to create the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a means of restorative justice: the truth about about human rights abuses committed during the apartheid-era could be brought to light, with the intention being to seek atonement for the victims rather than castigate the perpetrators. This landmark effort required patience and support from individuals in each community, and serves as a model for the reconciliation efforts of other countries as well as for Not In Our Town.
The same year Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa, Not In Our Town was born in the small town of Billings, MT. There, the entire community stood together as one against intolerance, channelling many of the same peaceful tactics used by anti-apartheid activists thousands of miles away. Now, twenty years later, we continue to follow Mandela’s mission of working together, stopping hate, and building safe, inclusive environments for all.
“People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
- Nelson Mandela
Across the country, students and teachers are sharing stories, joining together and taking action to create safe schools, free from stereotypes, intolerance, and hate. They’re part of a movement called Not In Our School (NIOS). For more than a decade, Not In Our School has inspired students of all ages to develop and share innovative ways to resist bullying and promote an atmosphere of acceptance and inclusion. The Not In Our School videos, activities and resources on our website showcase the immense capacity, energy, and creativity of young people who are creating new ways to make their schools safe for everyone.
Combats racism, antisemitism, and prejudice, and nurtures democracy through education programs worldwide