Last week (January 21st-25th) was National No Name-Calling Week, an annual week created by GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network ) to promote educational activities aimed at ending name-calling of all kinds and provide schools with the tools and inspiration to launch an on-going dialogue about ways to eliminate name-calling in their communities.
While the week may have come and gone, there is a dire need to keep the message alive 365 days a year. A recent GLSEN study found that in the course of a single school year, two-thirds of teens reported being verbally or physically harassed because of their perceived or actual appearance, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, race/ethnicity, disability or religion with most teens also reporting that they heard students making negative or offensive remarks related to these characteristics in their schools.
In an effort to reduce the use of anti-gay language among teens, GLSEN joined the Ad Council to launch the ThinkB4YouSpeak public service campaign nationwide. They are encouraging students, parents, teachers and school administrators to start taking steps aimed at reducing bullying, name-calling and anti-gay language.
Sometimes the signs of bullying are easy to identify and other times they can go undetected until it’s too late. For this reason, GLSEN and the Ad Council have developed a variety of tools such as elementary, middle and high school lesson plans, art lessons and resources to form anti-bullying committees/groups in schools and communities:
- Find out more about No Name-Calling Week and beyond activities: http://blog.glsen.org/need-ideas-for-no-name-calling-week/.
- No Name-Calling Week Planning Guide.
- GLSEN’s Creative Expressions Contest.
- GLSEN’s Think B4 You Speak PSA created with the Ad Council.
- Information about name-calling in sports with the Changing the Game resources.
- Link to the name-calling Tip Sheet for Parents.
You can learn more about No Name-Calling week at http://www.nonamecallingweek.org/cgi-bin/iowa/home.html. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter via #wordscanhurt and on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/nonamecallingweek.