Monday 21 January 2013

No Name Calling at Glendale School...

flickr image via db Photography | Demi-Brooke

No Name-Calling Week is an annual week of educational activities aimed at ending name-calling of all kinds and providing schools with the tools and inspiration to launch an on-going dialogue about ways to eliminate bullying in their communities.
Glendale Sciences and Technology School is excited to participate in No Name Calling Week, January 21-25, 2013. As part of our Empathy ReBoot Project we aim to draw attention to the issue of name-calling during the week. We are committed to taking steps that effectively address its causes resulting in a more caring and safe school where everyone feels a sense of purpose and belonging that extends beyond this week to become more of our everyday cultural reality at Glendale School.

From the No Name Calling Week website... 
No Name-Calling Week was inspired by a young adult novel entitled "The Misfits" by popular author, James Howe. 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. Motivated by the inequities they see around them, the "Gang of Five" (as they are known) creates 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 40 national partner organizations, organized an actual No Name-Calling Week in schools across the US. The project seeks to focus national attention on the problem of name-calling in schools, and to provide students and educators with the tools and inspiration to launch an on-going dialogue about ways to eliminate name-calling in their communities.
I have spoken to hundreds, perhaps thousands of adults over the years as a workshop facilitator and conference speaker. I speak about resiliency most commonly; the ability of people to bounce back from adversity to become stronger and more capable than they were before. Sadly, when I ask them what it was that caused their adversity, one of the most common responses I get is bullying in the form of name-calling. They wear their emotions on their sleeves as they tell me stories of "that kid," or a parent, teacher, coach or relative that berated them when they were young with names that they have not forgotten... even into adulthood. The tears flow liberally as they tell their stories, and it makes me sad.

So at our school, we don't want to pay lip-service to this problem. We fully acknowledge that members of our school family call people names... sometimes directly, and sometimes perhaps, without them even knowing it. Our Empathy ReBoot Project is not a glossy, canned anti-bullying program. We're not painting with numbers here. Our project involves a serious reflective process that requires all of us at Glendale to take a hard look at hard problems; to observe critically and determine ways that we can do empathy better. We have to be responsible for this. By not calling people names, and by not standing by when others are being called names, we intend to create a school where name-calling is abhorrent and rare. We understand that the process of eradicating name-calling at our school will take time. We have the time. We understand that eradicating name-calling in our school will involve explicit teaching and learning. We have the expertise to do that. We also understand that mistakes will be made, and as an evolving empathetic school, we have to forgive those mistakes and help people not make them again.

We can do all of this.

Watch our blog for updates throughout the week, and throughout the year as the mission to eradicate name-calling at Glendale School evolves.

Thank you for your support!


  1. I like this idea because this helps us to learn not to call people names.

  2. I like this idea. But at the same time I don't. The reason I don't like this idea is because I don't think that the grade 8s will follow.

    1. Hi Dylan. So what do you think we could do to help the grade eights understand how serious this problem is, and how can we work with them to reduce the levels of name calling they do?

  3. I like the no name calling week. I wish it can be every day.

  4. I think no name calling week is ok but it's only one week and it should be an everyday thing because people won't call names for a week and then they will call people names right after the week is over. My idea on how to keep this no name calling thing going is to tell everyone to stop calling names and if you see someone calling a name tell them that's not cool.

  5. I think no name calling is a good idea but when next week comes around people are going to call other people names and I think if we go up to the people how are calling people names and tell them thats not nice and its rude.

  6. If we want to get the grade 8s to follow us. I think that we should change the name or make a group. That is the only way i can think they will change.

  7. Hello,
    I just want you guys and gals to know that the grade 8's are being asked every day to be aware of their words. Name calling is not ACCEPTABLE up here in the grade 8 world. Unfortunately when students become the oldest in the school, it seems as though some of them believe their status is automatically raised to a level where it is above the rest at our school. However, please remember that there are so many grade 8's in our school that believe they have a responsibility to act in a very respectful manner to our lower grades at Glendale.
    Mr. Jardine

  8. I agree with dylan we should make a group to help the gr. 8's to stop calling names to the younger grades.

  9. I do not like this idea because maybe people won't care about it

  10. I believe this could become something important, heck I believe it already has but the issue is that people like some of the grade 8's and even some people in our class won't listen to this and will continue to call people names anyway. This is a great idea but we have to make this something more then an annual event, we have to make sure people aren't called names through out the year, not a mere week. Now to what makes this good. This idea supports non-bullying and raises awareness to the issue of name calling and can inspire people to help stop this problem that can scar lives for many decades.

  11. I like this idea because this helps us to learn not to call people names and after a week people might get the hang of it and never call people names. I also agree with Dylan that some of the grade eights might not follow the no name calling rule. I'm not sure why they won't follow I just don't think they'll follow. They might think they're to cool or it's lame. Sometimes rude words just pop out of people's mouths without thinking.

  12. Thanks to all for the great comments. A couple of items to clarify... I totally agree with Mr. Jardine and would like to reiterate the point that many grade eight kids in the school are also the victim of name calling, and in speaking with them I have come to know that the vast majority of them want the problem to go away as much as everyone else does. The challenge is how do we accomplish this? I agree with Dylan's suggestion that forming a group would help; in fact I think that group cold include every single member of the Glendale school family... students, staff, parents and community members at large. If we are all open to talking about the issue, and willing to listen to people's experiences and feelings around name calling, things will get better. First we have to respect the fact that we have a problem, then we have to try to understand it really, really well... where does it come from; who is affected; who is guilty of doing it etc. Then we have to work together to develop relationships that are accepting and positive, and finally we all have to take responsibility for being vigilant about the problem and be willing to lead by example for those who are still struggling to stop bullying others in the form of name-calling.

    I also appreciate those who have indicated that no-name calling week is great, but what about when the week is over. As alluded to in the post, I want to reinforce the point that this week is simply set aside to draw attention to the issue, and to help us realize that we have to work on eliminating the problem every day all year long. There is always room for improvement. We should be constantly working on making Glendale a caring, positive learning environment.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. No Name Calling Week as has been stated before is a great opportunity to highlight one of the many ways that we can work together to make our school a more Empathetic environment for everyone. I find it interesting that some focus on what they cannot do and what will not work rather that doing what YOU can to make the school a better place. Are you and Idealist or a Pragmatist?

      I feel that we need more idealists working to solve problems like "Name Calling". Idealists are understood to represent the world as it might or should be, unlike pragmatists, who focus on the world as it presently is. If we get into the pragmatists rut and take the defeatist attitude, believing that we cannot change what is, we WILL not change what is. Working stead fast against the odds, and in the face of the criticism of others is the hallmark of value based idealism. If everyone could just understand that they have the power to change a life, a mind or a situation and that it could happen today, we would motivate more people to do more. Idealistic acts have the power to motivate others in many ways. Some of the most powerful acts of motivating others have been those those of youth.

      So rather than looking our school as a culture that can not be changed, think about how you could be doing your part to make it better. We can be the Empathy based school that everyone could thrive in and want to be a part of. It will not be easy but if you believe it and start today to do your part it can be a reality.

      This story highlights this point and is worth spending some time thinking about.

      The Starfish Story

      A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.

      She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”

      The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied,

      “Well, I made a difference to that one!”

      The old man looked at the girl inquisitively and thought about what she had done and said. Inspired, he joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved. - adapted from the Star Thrower by Loren C. Eiseley

      So now what? Where do you go to make real change happen?

      Check out this.

      While you are at it here are some other things that may stir your desire to be a part of the movement to make our school a better place.
      This clip from a movie called Pay It Forward. Well worth looking at and thinking about. The full movie is fantastic.

      Here is another very thought provoking video. It is a TEDx talk with Brad Meltzer talking about How to write your own obituary? May sound strange but this past month after writing and reading my dad's obituary and eulogy it was apparent to me that when you look back on your life, how will it look. How do you want to be remembered?!

      Ways to get involved in changing the world around you.

  13. I find this a great idea since some people listen to it and acctually be nice to people for a change but after this week everyone will go back to calling people names. Why do we call other people names anyways? Like honestly its dumb. I hate being called names and yet I still call people mean names. So I decsided after this week I will stop calling people mean names. Because I hate it and they hate it too. I see on the news people comiting suicied becasue of bullying. Ask your self "How would I feel if someone I bullied killed themselfs?".

  14. I want everyone to not call names. It bothers me so much when people do it. My favorite singer is gay and he's my idol. And it bothers me when someone calls him gay and all I want to do is tear a strip off of them because of what they said but I don't. I just want to be a help to a solution and make it all stop.

  15. I think this is a good idea except that no one is going to think about it or do it unless we get the word out. I also think that we should do it for longer then a week because it will just go by and no one will hardly notice if its just for a week.


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