No Name-Calling Week

by on January 23, 2012


No Name-Calling Week 'Words Can Hurt. End the Name-Calling' anti-bullying wristbandsToday, January 23, is the first day of No Name-Calling Week 2012, and happily my new No Name- Calling Week wristbands arrived in the mail today as well.

I’ll probably take my own photo of them later, but right now I’m just using the one from the GLSEN Shop page. As you can see, these are black wristbands with “Words Can Hurt. End the Name- Calling” and the No Name-Calling Week web site URL printed on them in red, along with the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) logo in white and yellow.

To quote from the No Name-Calling Week “About” page:

No Name-Calling Week was inspired by a young adult novel entitled “The Misfits” by popular author, James Howe. The book tells the story of four best friends trying to survive the seventh grade in the face of all too frequent taunts based on their weight, height, intelligence, and sexual orientation/ gender expression. Motivated by the inequities they see around them, the “Gang of Five” (as they are known) creates a new political party during student council elections and run on a platform aimed at wiping out name-calling of all kinds. The No-Name Party in the end, wins the support of the school’s principal for their cause and their idea for a “No Name-Calling Day” at school.

Motivated by this simple, yet powerful, idea, the No Name- Calling Week Coalition created by GLSEN and Simon & Schuster Children’s publishing, consisting of over 40 national partner organizations, organized an actual No Name-Calling Week in schools across the nation. The project seeks to focus national attention on the problem of name-calling in schools, and to provide students and educators with the tools and inspiration to launch an on-going dialogue about ways to eliminate name-calling in their communities.

a 'No Name-Calling Week' web site bannerCheck out the No Name- Calling Week web site for lesson plans, resources, and other information.

In addition to the No Name- Calling Week wristbands, you can buy No Name-Calling Week buttons, stickers, posters, and even resource kits for your school.

a collage of student artwork for No Name-Calling WeekYou can also “Like” the Facebook No Name-Calling Week Page to share experiences, artwork, and news with a supportive community.

I’ve already written about some of my experiences with and thoughts about bullying in my “SEE a Bully – STOP a Bully” post, but I wanted to say a little more here specifically about the name-calling aspects of bullying:

a 'No Name-Calling Week' web site bannerI’m sure you’ve heard the line “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”, but basically all bullying starts with name-calling regardless of whether it ever progresses to physical abuse, and as the graphic says, words can hurt!

Here are some of the ways (I’ll add more later) name-calling does serious damage to all of us:

  • Name-calling is often used to single people out for public humiliation.
  • Name-calling teaches children to use hate speech regardless of whether they even know the meaning of the insults they’ve heard and are repeating.
  • Name-calling is often used to terrorize people with threats of physical violence or other future abuse.
  • Name-calling perpetuates bigotry by using names for whole classes of people as insults, as if they were less than human.
  • Name-calling perpetuates bigotry by being used on people who don’t conform to rigid gender and other stereotypes.
  • Name-calling perpetuates bigotry with its message that a person’s worth is mainly determined by factors such as how they look, or how much privilege they have.
  • Name-calling is often used to isolate people by labeling them as fair game for abuse, and making it clear that anyone who objects will likely become a target as well.

More later … I do want to post this while it’s still January 23 :-), but will come back and say more tomorrow.

p.s. If you’re interested in anti-bullying wristbands, check out my posts on the “SEE a Bully – STOP a Bully” wristbands from the American Federation of Teachers and the “End Bullying” wristbands from the Human Rights Campaign as well.

updated October 23, 2013


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