Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It Takes a Village: No Name Calling Week is January 25-29, 2010

No Name-Calling Week was inspired by a young adult novel entitled "The Misfits" by 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. Hmmm . . . sound familiar?!?!

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. Though they lose the election, they win the support of the school's principal for their cause and their idea for a "No Name-Calling Day" at school.

No Name-Calling Week was created by GLSEN and Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing and consists of over 40 national partner organizations. The first No Name-Calling Week in schools across the nation took place March 1-5, 2004; this year, it will take place the week of January 25-29, 2010. 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. The focus is on grades 5 through 8 - you know, those awkward middle-school/tween years.

You can get more information on this project on their website, www.nonamecalling.org, and download free materials on how to stop bullying in our communities. We blogged about bullying before (this is one of Demi Lovato's big causes), and we also covered this topic during the Tween Summit last fall. It takes a village, people, so check out this site and get involved!

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