May 03, 2013

Thank you so much for your support of No Name-Calling Week 2013!  It is because of our partners and supporters that No Name-Calling Week has such an impact on schools, providing them with the tools to start an ongoing effort to end name-calling and bullying.  Each of you have made a huge contribution to GLSEN’s anti-bullying efforts by participating. This year, educator participation has increased with 13,655 educators registered and over 18,000 fans on Facebook.  With hundreds of thousands of educators visiting our website for resources, we know you are making a difference. Brock Road Elementary especially made a difference to their students by having a Spirit Week type theme for NNCW. Each day of the week was a theme dress up day reminding students of the impact of name calling and bullying. For example, on Tuesday, students wore two different shoes to remind them what it is like to “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes”. Students learned empathy for others and thought about how someone else feels when they are being disrespected. Laurel Springs School in Ojai, CA showed their support for No Name-Calling Week by hosting a variety of activities including a book club discussion centered around The Misfits by James Howe. Laurel Springs also hosted a live interactive webinar for their 6th through 12th grade students about bullying prevention. The 10th No Name-Calling Week is nearing an end today, but that doesn’t mean that we should forget the messages of respect and inclusivity for all young people. Continue building a safe school climate throughout the year with GLSEN’s resources and don’t forget to let us know how you participated!

May 03, 2013

StopBully.govGLSEN is proud to collaborate with The Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). As part of the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention, HRSA and eight other federal agencies are working to raise awareness for bullying prevention while supporting No Name Calling Week. Through initiatives like No Name Calling Week, we can connect local leaders to the resources they need to get active and prevent bullying in their community. Whether you work in the classroom or the clinic, everyone plays a role in bullying prevention and HRSA has developed free training resources that go beyond the school environment to help you organize a community event or town hall, including:

  • Base Training Module with Speaker Notes: a presentation with suggested talking points, including the latest research to help participants create an action plan for a community event
  • Community Action Toolkit: a supplemental guide, including tip sheets, a template event agenda, action planning matrix and feedback forms

No Name Calling Week is about more than simply building awareness — it’s about taking action to prevent bullying in your neighborhood and community. Whether you’ve been active for years or just started yesterday, take action by learning about and organizing bullying prevention and response efforts in your community. Download the Training Modules at: http://www.stopbullying.gov/communityguide     

May 03, 2013

As a professional athlete, Megan Rapinoe knows that negative and hurtful language is commonplace in sports. That’s why she supports GLSEN’s efforts to “change the game.” Changing the Game: The GLSEN Sports Project was developed to help K-12 schools create an athletic and physical education environment based on the core principles of respect, safety and equal access for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. Megan Rapinoe is a game changer and you can be one too by showing your support for Changing the Game! All you have to do is complete and submit the form on this page, telling us why you want to join Megan in this effort to support GLSEN. We will be featuring many of these stories on our website and if we select your story, you’ll be eligible to win one of the many items Megan has provided us including signed soccer balls or t-shirts or a $500 NIKE Gift Certificate. Tell us why you want to change the game!

May 03, 2013

Celebrate Kindness GLSEN's No Name-Calling Week Jan 21 - 25, 2013 NoNameCallingWeek.orgToday marks the start of GLSEN’s 10th No Name-Calling Week, a national program of educational activities designed to help eradicate name-calling and bullying of all kinds in schools.  Over 60 nationally-known education, health and social justice organizations have come together to recognize the need for this type of work in our nation's schools. Included in that group are the National Education Association, the American School Counselors Association, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the Association for Middle Level Education. In collaboration with our partners, GLSEN has developed a planning guide, lesson plans, promotional materials such as stickers and posters, and a website at www.nonamecallingweek.org.  The No Name-Calling Week listserv now has over 17,500 registrants, who run the gamut from teachers to students, guidance counselors to school administrators, librarians to youth workers.  Register this year to help us to keep an accurate count of how many participants there are each year. As we go through the week, we would love to hear your stories of success, drop us a note and tell us how No Name-Calling Week is going in your community.

May 03, 2013

Only 3 days until No Name Calling Week! Check out Let’s Get Real, a short film produced by GLSEN’s long-time organizational partner, GroundSpark. Let’s Get Real doesn’t sugarcoat the truth or feature adults lecturing kids about what to do when kids pick on them. Instead, it examines a variety of issues that lead to taunting and bullying, including racial differences, perceived sexual orientation, learning disabilities, religious differences, sexual harassment and others. The film not only gives a voice to targeted kids, but also to kids who do the bullying to find out why they lash out at their peers and how it makes them feel. The most heartening part of Let’s Get Real includes stories of youth who have mustered the courage to stand up for themselves or a classmate. At GLSEN, we recommend this excellent short film to use with your students in grades 5 – 9. Let’s Get Real is widely hailed as one of the best tools for opening up meaningful, life-changing dialogue in schools today. As a special offer for No Name Calling Week, GroundSpark is providing free streaming of Let’s Get Real the entire week. To order your copy of the DVD and guide and to take advantage of the 50% No Name Calling Week promotional discount, please visit our distributor, New Day Films and use promotional discount code XDVF5M.

May 03, 2013

No Name-Calling Week is rapidly approaching! No Name-Calling Week is an annual week of educational activities aimed at ending name-calling of all kinds and providing schools with the tools and inspiration to launch an on-going dialogue about ways to eliminate bullying in their communities. Here are some ways you can celebrate! 

  1. Conduct a school wide Name-Calling survey.
  2. Review the No Name-Calling Week Planning Guide
  3. Use Twitter and Facebook to spread the word #wordscanhurt
  4. Conduct NNCW lessons
  5. Read excerpts from “The Misfits” by James Howe and hold a group discussion.
  6. Develop a classroom no name-calling policy
  7. Create a school wide display and enter it into our Creative Expressions Contest.
  8. Show GLSEN’s Think B4 You Speak PSA and hold a discussion about the phrase “That’s So Gay”
  9. Discuss sportsmanship in physical education classes with the Changing the Game resources.
  10. Wear a No Name-Calling Week Sticker.
  11. Hold an school wide assembly on name-calling and bullying
  12. Dedicate a class to an art themed anti-bullying lesson plan
  13. Hold an essay contest "How Name Calling Makes Me Feel."
  14. Display No Name-Calling Week Posters in all classrooms and around building.
  15. Send home our Tip Sheet for Parents.

We would love to hear what you have planned; click here to let us know what you are doing to celebrate No Name-Calling Week.

May 03, 2013

Drumroll please... April 19, 2013 is the next Day of Silence, save the date! Click the image below to share it on your Facebook! or click here to send a tweet about it! Also, buy your merchandise early and save! T-shirts are on sale for 10% off at the GLSEN store now through February 15, 2013.

May 03, 2013

Hand-made sign that read 'NO BULLYING / PEACE / NO NAME CALLING!!" in glitter puffy paint Creative Expression is an opportunity for you to show us how your school is celebrating No Name-Calling Week and creating a culture of no name-calling. We want to see your school wide displays featuring the message of No Name-Calling Week. This year’s deadline is Friday, March 1, 2013. Any kind of display can be created and a picture or video of the display will be submitted for judging. Show us your assemblies, the posters you created at school, lessons being conducted in classrooms, or anything that can show us what you are doing in your community. The winning school will receive a No Name-Calling Week Prize pack including a Simon and Schuster Children's Library, and a Stop Bullying Speak Up prize kit from the Cartoon Network. For more information about Creative Expressions or to enter your submission click here Have a great No Name-Calling Week!

May 03, 2013

When the lights came back on after GLSEN's screening of How to Survive a Plague last month, everyone in the room knew they'd seen a special film. We weren't the only ones impressed, apparently, as the movie received an Oscar nomination today for Best Documentary. How to Survive a Plague is one of the best documentaries I've ever seen, and I couldn't be more excited to see it receive national recognition. The film follows two coalitions, ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group), through the HIV/AIDS crisis during the late '80s and early '90s. The groups used political activism and civil disobedience to help shift AIDS from a near-certain death sentence to a manageable, but still serious, disease. Eliza Byard, our executive director, noted the connection between the atmosphere of the era and the birth of GLSEN: "My mother attended a founding meeting for GLSEN's New York City chapter at the time," she said, "walking through one of the very ACT UP meetings depicted in the film to a boiler room off the back where Kevin Jennings was greeting volunteers." How to Survive a Plague will compete with 5 Broken Cameras, The Gatekeepers, The Invisible War, and Searching for Sugar Man for the award. If you're interested in other documentaries about the HIV/AIDS crisis, check out We Were Here, which focuses on San Francisco, and  30 Years From Here, which reflects on three decades of HIV/AIDS in the US. Congratulations again to the director/producer David France and everyone else connected with the film!  

May 03, 2013

East Aurora School Board

This has been a tumultuous fall and early winter for the East Aurora School District in Aurora, Illinois. On Monday, October 15th, the East Aurora School Board voted unanimously to approve a great policy that protected the district’s transgender students’ right to privacy, respect, and equal opportunity. The policy (which would have asked school administrators to deal with these issues on a case-by-case basis) would have required teachers and school personnel to address a student by the name and pronoun that corresponds to the student’s gender identity, would have given students access to the restroom and locker rooms that corresponds to their gender identity,  allowed students to dress appropriately, and would have ensured that transgender students had the same opportunities in physical education and sports as cisgender students.

The policy had been in the works for months and was sparked by a parent seeking more protection for their transgender child.

On Wednesday, October 17th, the Illinois Family Institute (IFI), an organization designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, generated hundreds of emails to the school district demanding they overturn the policy. The vast majority of these emails came from outside of the school district. As a result of the pressure, the Board voted on October 19th, just four days after enacting the policy and in the face of hundreds of supporters, to rescind it. A committee was established to analyze the situation and make recommendations for a new policy, but after even more hateful demonstrations from the IFI, the committee was disbanded this week. The Board's decision to cave to the IFI sends a terrible message to students in the district for a variety of reasons. For many students, it shows that their school board is susceptible to caving under pressure from outside groups, even when those groups are designated hate groups. The Board's decision also leaves transgender and gender nonconforming students in a policy purgatory, their privacy still violated and respect and equality not guaranteed. GLSEN believes that school boards everywhere should focus on creating climates of tolerance and respect for others within their schools. It is with this in mind that we developed our Model District Policy on Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students, a model policy for school districts aimed at reducing stigmatization and improving the educational integration of transgender and gender nonconforming students, maintaining the privacy of all students, and fostering cultural competence and professional development for school staff. We hope the East Aurora School Board, as well as school boards across the country, learn from it and create policies under which transgender and gender nonconforming students have the same educational and extra-curricular opportunities as their cisgender peers.

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