Not In Our School club active at Normal West

Not In Our School, a group created to make schools safe from stereotypes, intolerance, and hate, has been a part of Normal West for two years now, and is working to make this school an inclusive place.

Not In Our Town, the group that Not In Our School is derived from, was launched in 1995 with a PBS film chronicling the lives of Billings, Montana residents who stood up for the people of their town after a series of hate crimes.

According to national Not In Our Town website, they are “a movement to stop hate, address bullying, and build safe, inclusive communities for all.”

This story inspired communities all over the United States to begin to take action against hate. A few years later, Not In Our School was created  to make schools safe.  

Mrs. Camille Taylor, one of the original members of Not In Our Town, and still an active member today, stated: “With [the Not In Our Town mission statement] in mind, it is vitally important to have a Not In Our School presence and mentality wherever students are gathered.”

“Sadly, schools are not immune to issues like bullying and violence. It is crucial that students and staff feel safe at school. Any efforts to maintain a safe environment are important and needed.” Taylor continued.

She stressed the importance of dealing with problems and talking about them when they arise instead of simply ignoring them.  

She ended by saying,“when NIOS is successful, students and staff can thrive in an environment of respect and personal responsibility for individual action.”

Mr. John Bierbaum, the faculty advisor for NIOS, added that it is an important for the students to take charge and make the changes they think necessary instead of everything always coming from the administration.