BY BTL STAFF
The popular young adult novel “The Misfits” by author James Howe has inspired No Name-Calling Week Jan. 16-20.
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. The friends create a new political party during student council elections and run on a platform aimed at wiping out name-calling of all kinds. The No-Name Party, in the end, wins the support of the school’s principal for their cause and their idea for a “No Name-Calling Day” at school.
Motivated by this simple yet powerful idea, the No Name-Calling Week Coalition created by GLSEN and Simon & Schuster Children’s publishing – consisting of over 60 national partner organizations – organized an actual No Name-Calling Week in schools across the nation. Since then, No Name-Calling Week has been adopted by schools everywhere and has grown into one of the largest bullying-prevention initiatives in the country.
This No Name-Calling Week begins on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and ends on Inauguration Day. It is an important opportunity to show allyship to LGBTQ students, particularly transgender and gender nonconforming students, as well as LGBTQ students of color.
Every year for No-Name Calling Week, GLSEN provides students and educators with the tools and inspiration to launch an on-going dialogue about ways to challenge bullying and name-calling in their communities.
Teachers, students, community organizers, bus drivers, guidance counselors, coaches, or librarians can show they care by organizing a week of activities at their schools aimed at ending name-calling once and for all. Register to receive updates and offers. Plan a week in school by using GLSEN’s planning tools to help in preparations.
Put kindness in action through lessons and activities designed individually for elementary, middle or high schools. For more information, log on to GLSEN’s website.