Speak Up at School

There you are.

In the classroom.
In the cafeteria.
On a field trip.

You’re tongue-tied. 

Someone has said something derogatory that makes you uncomfortable, or even angry. You want to say something, but you’re not sure what to say. 

It happens “almost daily,” one teacher relates. Maybe it’s one of your students. Or it’s a colleague. Or an administrator. And maybe you laugh along—a forced or awkward laugh—because you don’t want to be rude. You see students grappling with the same issues. 

This guidebook offers tools and strategies to prepare you to speak up against prejudice and stereotypes at school. 

Because whoever it is, and wherever you are, there are ways to be ready for such moments, ways to make sure that you aren’t caught tongue-tied, ways to make sure that you don’t let hate have the last word. 


This is not an anti-bullying guidebook, though the strategies can be used to address some forms of bullying behavior. If you are implementing a specific anti-bullying curriculum in your school or district, this guidebook can be used in concert with that effort. 

Use the accompanying pocket guide when faced with biased language and situations:

  1. Print front and back
  2. Cut along the dotted lines
  3. Fold once along the center lengthwise
  4. Fold the right and left blocks with the words “INTERRUPT” and “ECHO” inward
  5. Fold in half so that “SPEAK UP AT SCHOOL” appears on the front
  6. Pocket and reference often

A map of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi with overlaid images of key state symbols and of people in community

Learning for Justice in the South

When it comes to investing in racial justice in education, we believe that the South is the best place to start. If you’re an educator, parent or caregiver, or community member living and working in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana or Mississippi, we’ll mail you a free introductory package of our resources when you join our community and subscribe to our magazine.

Learn More