In the course of a single school year, two out of three teens are verbally or physically harassed because of their appearance, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, race/ethnicity, disability or religion.
Two out of three
Recently a friend’s child was harassed at school by kids who were previously considered friends, turned on and made fun of in a disturbing display of bullying. Suddenly going to school each day became a stressful experience and the school’s response was lackluster at best.
Words can hurt.
We live in a world now where bullying, threats and violence are prevalent in our everyday society. Sadly, we have also seen recently that name-calling does not always end in childhood. It extends to the blogosphere, celebrities, politicians and business competitors. Even adults, who know the power of words, seem to forget that words can hurt.
Let’s try to change that, together. We have the power to foster change and to stop the name-calling. Let’s focus instead on building each other up rather than tearing them down.
Words can hurt. They can also heal.
Today begins No Name-Calling Week, an annual week aimed at ending name-calling of all kinds and providing kids and schools with the tools and inspiration to have a dialogue about ways to eliminate name-calling. If you are a parent who wants to talk with your child about name-calling, here is a tip sheet for parents. If you are a coach or parent of a child involved in sports, consider these tips for changing the game. If you are an educator, this planning guide is a terrific resource for bringing No Name-Calling Week into the classroom.
Let’s all remember to think before we speak and let’s teach our children to do the same.
The No Name-Calling Week Coalition was created by GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) and Simon & Schuster Children’s publishing and the No Name-Calling Week Campaign is being promoted via the Ad Council. You can learn more about No Name-Calling Week at: http://www.nonamecallingweek.org/cgi-bin/iowa/home.html and follow along on Twitter via #wordscanhurt and on Facebook via https://www.facebook.com/nonamecallingweek.