Stop All the Name-Calling

It’s Inauguration Day- a day of patriotism and promise.   It’s Martin Luther King Day- a day to contemplate inclusion and civil rights.  It is also coincidentally the start of No Name Calling Week- a simple idea that both adults and children could stand to follow a little more closely.  How perfect this week should begin today!

The mission of No Name –Calling Week is to end all kinds of name-calling and provide schools with the tools they need to discover ways to eliminate bullying in their communities.  Anyone can be a part of this week- teachers, coaches, counselors, bus drivers, students, parents, librarians, and PTO/PTA leaders.  Curricular materials are free and downloadable from the website.  Even though the materials are primarily aimed at middle school students (grades 5-8), they can be easily modified for students of any age.


“The Misfits” by James Howe was the motivation for the creation of No Name-Calling Week.  Here is a synopsis of the book from the NNCW website:

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.

Created by GLSEN and Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing , No Name-Calling Week focuses national attention on the problem of bullying and name calling in schools across the nation and provides tools and inspiration to stop it. Several associations are partners including National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Education Association, American School Counselor Association, Girl Scouts of America, National School Boards Association and the Children’s Defense FundClick here for a  full list of partners.

To plan your school’s No Name Calling Week, visit  Resources are available at

Suggestions for Parents

  • Read or share some of James Howe’s book with your children
  • Teach empathy for others and discuss how it might feel to be bullied
  • Model compassion for others and teach social skills
  • Discuss how bystanders or witnesses of bullying can make a difference just by speaking up
  • Role play how to be assertive and display confident behavior
  • Stay connected with your child

If you know or suspect your child is being bullied, this tip sheet for parents could help.

What do you do as a parent to help your child deal with possible bully situations? Does your school have a successful program in place to deal with bullying? How do you teach your children about name-calling?  Could you stop name-calling for a week? Take the challenge!

Please tweet, share, comment or contact me at Facebook "likes" are very much appreciated.

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    My name is Lisa Stiegman and I have been a Chicago area resident all my life. Besides being the mother of three children, I have been a writer, editor, and teacher.

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