New Creative Expressions Exhibit on Name-Calling and Bullying to Feature Students' Submissions Daily on GLSEN.org
NEW YORK - January 23, 2012 - The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), today kicked off its ninth annual No Name-Calling Week with students in thousands of schools participating in the nationally recognized event aimed at addressing name-calling and bullying in schools.
No Name-Calling Week was first organized in 2004 by GLSEN and Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing with more than 50 participating organizations supporting the week-long event including the National Education Association, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the American Association of School Counselors.
Key supporters of the bullying prevention program include leading sponsor Cisco with additional support provided by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, Barnes & Noble, Allstate Foundation, McDonalds and The Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation.
"Bullying continues to be a public health crisis in the United States, but we are encouraged that more and more educators embrace the simple idea that has made No Name-Calling Week such a popular educational event - that we should teach youth to respect difference," said GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard. "No Name-Calling Week prepares teachers to begin and sustain a dialogue that encourages students to help eliminate all kinds of name-calling and bullying. Not only do students learn to respect and value difference, but they also contribute to ensuring a safer climate for everyone a part of their school community."
GLSEN's No Name-Calling Week was inspired by the young adult novel The Misfits by James Howe, a story about four students who have each experienced name-calling and decide to run for student council on the platform of creating a "No Name Day" at school.
No Name-Calling Week is designed for use at all grade levels with schools organizing a diverse array of activities throughout the week. Lesson plans and other school resources can be found at www.NoNameCallingWeek.org. Previous year evaluations indicate that educators found No Name-Calling Week resources useful and that the program may improve student experiences.
Previously known as the "Creative Expression Contest," GLSEN is launching its Creative Expression Exhibit designed for students to submit original pieces, in all mediums, that convey their experiences and feelings about name-calling, and their ideas for ending bullying in their schools and communities. The exhibit's theme is "365 Days of Respect" where a new submission will be daily featured on GLSEN.org. Deadline for submissions is March 2.
GLSEN will release a series of No Name-Calling Week videos and blog posts throughout the week-long event. Two videos produced by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing feature The Misfits author James Howe and an array of authors in support of No Name-Calling Week.
According to From Teasing to Torment: School Climate in America, a 2005 Harris Interactive report commissioned by GLSEN, 47 percent of middle and high school students identified bullying, name-calling or harassment as a somewhat or very serious problem at their school. Additionally, 65 percent of middle and high school students reported being verbally or physically harassed or assaulted in the previous year because of a personal characteristic. Nearly a third of these students who were assaulted or harassed said that school staff did nothing in response when the incident was reported.
In Playgrounds and Prejudice: Elementary School Climate in the United States, a 2012 Harris Interactive report commissioned by GLSEN, 75 percent of elementary school students reported that students at their school are called names, made fun of or bullied with at least some regularity. Most commonly this is because of students' looks or body size, not being good at sports, how well they do at schoolwork, not conforming to traditional gender norms/roles or because other people think they are gay.
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 by a generous grant from Cisco with additional support provided by Barnes & Noble, Allstate Foundation, McDonalds and The Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation.
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & 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.