At Bettendorf Middle School in Iowa, students had a “Walk In Another's Shoes Day” to demonstrate every child’s different personalities.
At Greenwood Elementary in Wakefield, Massachusetts, two students made a Monday morning announcement over the school public address system:
“Good morning! Remember we are all different and unique. Let’s celebrate our differences. Sticks and stones may break your bones, but mean words can tear holes in your spirit.”
And at Hammond Elementary School in Columbia, Maryland, guidance counselor Patty Smith led students in an “activity of the day” to affirm the goal of mutual respect for one another:
- on Wednesday, each student was asked to say one positive thing to someone they don’t know;
- on Thursday, they wrote “Kindness grams” to deliver to peers they don’t usually hang around with;
- and on Friday, all students and staff dressed in blue and gold — the school colors — as a show of unity against name-calling and other forms of bullying.
These are just a few of the creative and impactful ways that students and teachers across our country observed No Name-Calling Week 2012.
No Name-Calling Week was a tremendously positive way to deliver GLSEN’s message of respect for difference and diversity. And it’s an event made possible largely by your generous contributions.
In Tennessee, state legislators advanced a bill to actually protect bullies by shielding them from disciplinary action or other intervention if their name-calling and torment is based on “religious freedom.”
It’s a sad day in our country when “religious freedom” is defined as the right to make a vulnerable young student’s life miserable and unsafe.
This is precisely why events like No Name-Calling Week, and GLSEN’s National Day of Silence in April, are so very important. We must continue to beat the drum that bullying and name calling are wrong in every circumstance, in every school, and when directed at any student.