NEW YORK - Thousands of schools across the country will participate in GLSEN's eighth annual No Name-Calling Week
this week, a week of educational activities designed to address bullying and name-calling of all kinds.
A project of GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network), Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing and more than 50 participating organizations, and sponsored by Cisco, No Name-Calling Week has become one of the most used and celebrated bullying prevention programs in the country.
"We are proud to support the work of thousands of educators and students who are using No Name-Calling Week to bring a message of respect to their schools," GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard said. "One of the wonderful lessons from No Name-Calling Week is that we can empower students to work together to improve school climate for all students. Bullying is a public health crisis in this country, but through programs like No Name-Calling Week, we know we can make schools safer and more affirming for everyone."
Initially created for middle schools, No Name-Calling Week is now used in all grade levels. Schools participate in a variety of ways, from hosting assemblies to hanging posters promoting respect to using lesson plans that encourage students to intervene when they hear name-calling. Lesson plans for all grade levels and other resources can be found at www.NoNameCallingWeek.org.
Many schools also encourage students to participate in No Name-Calling Week's Creative Expression Contest (submission deadline is Feb. 28).
"This is an extremely important message for students to hear, not just once a year, but throughout the year," said Susan Goldfarb, a teacher at Silver Lakes Middle School in North Lauderdale, Fla. "It is vital that we continue getting the message out."
Silver Lakes Middle School classes will incorporate discussions that revolve around no name-calling themes, and peer counselors will present "Stomp Out Name-Calling" morning announcements.
No Name-Calling Week was inspired by the young adult novel "The Misfits" by James Howe, a story about four students who have experienced name-calling and decide to run for student council on the platform of creating a "No Name Day" at school.
From Teasing to Torment: School Climate in America," a 2005 Harris Interactive report commissioned by GLSEN, found that 47 percent of junior/middle high school students identified bullying, name-calling or harassment as somewhat serious or very serious problems at their school. Additionally, 69 percent of junior/middle high school students reported being assaulted or harassed in the previous year and nearly a third said that school staff did nothing in response when the incident was reported.
To learn more about No Name-Calling Week, visit www.NoNameCallingWeek.org. Join the Facebook discussion at http://www.facebook.com/NoNameCallingWeek.
No Name-Calling Week is made possible, in large part, by a generous grant from Cisco.
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org