Do the Right Thing (K-12)
- It takes "moral courage" to do the right thing--especially when no
one else is doing the right thing. But we can't sit back and be silent
bystanders, waiting for others to take the lead. We're faced with tough
choices all our lives, from childhood through adulthood. So don't
wait: Listen: "I hear a voice inside me sing, 'Do the right thing...'"
Don't Take the Bait (K-5)
-When someone is just "fishing for a fight," sometimes the best thing
to do is to walk away. Maybe they're hungry for attention, or angry
about something that has nothing to do with you. So don't feed their
need for negative attention. Don't let yourself get "hooked on somebody
else's line: Don't take the bait!"
Every One of Us (K-12)
- We're most aware of "dis-abilities" that we can see or hear, in how
someone moves or speaks. But we're all differently-abled. We all have
challenges in different parts of our lives, whether they're visible to
everyone or just to ourselves. So let's show extra compassion for those
who have to work a little harder every day. Every one of is deserving
of respect. And every one of us is special.
I Can Be (K-4) -
We each have so much potential! "I can be all that I want to be / If I
put my mind to it, I can do it." But bias and bullying can dampen our
spirits: "I can get tangled in a web / By an unkind thing that was said /
Then there's just one thing I can do / Just tell myself It isn't true!" "You have got a special way you don't see everyday!" Let's celebrate each and every one of us!
I'll Speak Out (K-4) -
"I'll speak out if someone tries to hurt you / I'll speak out if
someone is unkind / I'll speak out, I will not desert you / You can
count on me! / I'll speak out for you!" Young children have a strong
sense of fairness. If they learn to speak out now, they'll grow up to be Allies, not Silent Bystanders!
Live Out Loud (7-12) - Believe
in yourself, be proud to be exactly who you are, and never give up! As
Émile Zola wrote, "If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I
will tell you, I came to live out loud!" Bias
and bullying unchecked can crush our spirits, make us question our
belief in ourselves, our worth, and how we each impact the world and all
the people around us. This is my It Gets Better song: No matter how
bad you are feeling about your life at this moment, there is at least
one Ally out there who will help you hang in there. Pick up the phone
and make that call - don't go it alone and never give up on yourself!
Mountain of Shoes (7-12) -
Bias and bullying unchecked moves along the spectrum of hate to the
other extreme: genocide. During the Holocaust, the Nazis kept all the
personal belongings of their victims, including millions of pairs of
shoes. A survivor of the death camp in Majdanek, Poland wrote a poem
called "The Mountain of Shoes," in which he envisioned these mountains
of shoes rising up and marching... This poem and an exhibit of a
"mountain of shoes in the US Holocaust Memorial Museum inspired this
song. If there's ever any danger, we always tell our children to come
home, where they will be safe. What would it have been like to be a
child--targeted for being Jewish,Sinti or Roma (Gypsies), Jehovahs
Witnesses, or disabled--whose life was in danger because of prejudice,
and couldn't be kept safe, even by his or her own parents?
No (8-12) - Like bullying, unhealthy dating, sexual assault, and date rape involve major power imbalances. Teens need to know the facts and speak out for themselves and each other: no silent bystanders or collaborator/accomplices. No means No:
“No matter if you paid, if you pleaded, if you thought that it was well
understood, she would finally come through / No matter how you feel,
ticked off, led on, ripped off / There’s nothing that s/he owes to you.”
Please Get to Know Me (K-4) - "I
cannot be judged by the color of eyes, the color of my skin, the
clothes I like to wear, or whatever group I'm in / So please get to know
me, before you decide what I'm like inside." "Prejudice doesn't let us
find treasures in all humankind / Prejudice makes it hard to see how
we're different and the same." Very young children have a strong sense
of fairness. This song was written in the first person to underscore
that sense: They would never want to be pre-judged and treated
unfairly. They understand that no one else should be treated unfairly
Prejudice Is the Enemy (7-12) - Stereotypes fool us into believing that all people
in any particular group are all the same. We know that all women are
not alike, nor are all Muslims, Jews, African-Americans, Latinos,
Caucasians, north Americans, immigrants, straight people, LGBT people,
etc. But stereotypes are also used as a tool to turn different groups
against each other: scapegoating. It's easiest to blame someone
outside our own group - "the other" - for society's problems, and to
label some group, other than our own, as The Enemy. But I believe no group is The Enemy: Prejudice Is the Enemy.
Song for All Sizes (K-4)
- This is a song for all sizes, colors, shapes, faiths, languages and
cultures, celebrating our nation of immigrants and "every man and woman
and child and all the animals of the earth." "We're a spinning globe of
colors and creeds / and people of every kind / If we look past all our
differences / We all have peace in mind."
Speak Out for Me (7-12)
- "First they came for the Communists, and I didn't speak out..."
"Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me." I
have put to music this unforgettable quote about the Bystander by the
Reverend Martin Niemoller. I have added verses naming other groups that
were also persecuted by the Nazis, in addition to those he named. We
need to remember those as well, including homosexuals, disabled
children, Sinti and Roma (Gypsies), and Polish priests. We need to speak
out for ourselves and for others, especially those who are targeted and
need our voices most.
Think Before You Speak (4-12)
- We each have unique identities, each deserving of respect. How would
we feel if our own identities were used as generic-putdowns or insults?
When we use aspects of other identities and personal characteristics
that way it's dehumanizing and hurtful. Language matters. If something
is "stupid" or "not cool," we should call it just that. Term's like
"That's so gay!" and "That's retarded" need to be erased from our
vocabularies. They support the bias and bullying that creates a hostile
school environment for all students.
Words and Hands (K-5)
- We can disagree with grace, using words--not hands. And others might
see our (different) perspective if we "stick to the subject" rather
than resorting to name-calling or hitting to "win" an argument. "Hands
are for making music / Hands are for writing words / Hands are for
helping people / Hands are not meant to hurt." This song in 7/4 time is
written in an Afro-beat style. It is very lively and calls for a fun
and different hand-clapping pattern!