“That’s not a problem at our school."
Sound familiar? It’s a reaction from adults that is all too common when it comes to name-calling, bullying, and harassment. Although there are many safe, supportive school communities, the reality is that most students regularly witness name-calling and other types of harassment from elementary school through high school. Here are the facts about name-calling in school.
- 75% say that students at their school are called names, made fun of, or bullied on a regular basis.
- 51% regularly hear other students make comments like “retard” or “spaz.”
- 46% regularly hear other students say things like “that’s so gay” or “you’re so gay.”
It appears that the name-calling and teasing that happens in elementary schools serves as a foundation for how students treat each other in secondary school. Name-calling and harassment continue as students get older.
- 64% say that name-calling, bullying, or harassment is a serious problem at their school.
- 68% say that students are regularly called names, bullied, or harassed at school because of their appearance or body size.
- 60% regularly see their peers called names, bullied, or harassed because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation.
So why do so many adults still think that name-calling isn’t a problem? Students say that name calling and using biased remarks usually happens when educators aren't around.
Fortunately, students and educators can work together to create a culture of kindness at school, and celebrating No Name-Calling Week is great place to start.
No Name-Calling Week is January 20-24. You can learn more at glsen.org/nonamecallingweek.