January 25, 2010

Sirdeaner Walker, Mother of Boy Who Died by Suicide, Talks About Importance of GLSEN's No Name-Calling Week

Today is the first day of No Name-Calling Week. The following is a statement from Sirdeaner Walker, a mother from Springfield, Mass., about the importance of No Name-Calling Week and its message of respect.
Dear Educators:

My name is Sirdeaner Walker, and last spring, my eleven-year-old son, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, took his own life after enduring months of relentless name-calling and bullying at school.

As my family and I struggle to find peace, I have determined to do everything in my power to eliminate name-calling and bullying of all kinds from schools so that other boys and girls do not suffer as Carl did. I am writing now to ask you to join me in this effort by participating in No Name-Calling Week (January 25-29, 2010), an event designed to help K-12 schools engage their students in the important work of building respect for all.

My son was only in middle school, but he heard all the names that I’m sure you have all heard at some point in some hallway. This problem begins early, before students even understand the terms they use, or have any sense of their consequences. There are No Name-Calling Week resources tailored for all classroom levels from elementary through high school, to spark discussion and reflection appropriate for students of various ages.

There is more information about this event and the free lesson plans and resources available to you for use in your school on the No Name-Calling Week website, at http://www.nonamecallingweek.org/.

No Name-Calling Week has reached tens of thousands of classrooms since its inception seven years ago. I am very grateful for the No Name-Calling Week Coalition Members for their leadership, and hope that you will add to that legacy of leadership by being part of No Name-Calling Week 2010.I thank you for all of your efforts on behalf of your students.

Sincerely,
Sirdeaner Walker

P.S. Please register as a No Name-Calling Week participant when you visit the website, so that it is possible to continue measuring the nation-wide reach and impact of this important program. It means a lot to me to know that there are allies out there in this crucial work. Thank you.

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