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 biased 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, bias 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. If, for example, you are using the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, you can work with the “Circle of Bullying” chart and use strategies in this guidebook to move “Possible Defenders” and even “Disengaged Onlookers” to genuine “Defenders.”




Teaching Tolerance collage of images

Welcome to Learning for Justice—Formerly Teaching Tolerance!

Our work has evolved in the last 30 years, from reducing prejudice to tackling systemic injustice. So we’ve chosen a new name that better reflects that evolution: Learning for Justice.

Learn More