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No-Name Calling Week at MS, HS

Filed in Archive, BCHS, BCMS by on February 14, 2019

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Students at both BCMS and BCHS recently participated in the nationwide No Name-Calling Week, which took place during the month of January to draw attention to the use of bullying language, slurs and stereotypes in our schools. The collaborative effort was sponsored by the high school’s Genders and Sexualties Alliance (GSA) and the middle school’s Pride Coalition.

To combat name-calling at the schools, the groups set up tables at both schools for students to get more information and become involved.

At the middle school, students put kindness into action by using the hashtag #KindnessInAction on stickers and signs. Students could stop at a table during lunch and pick up a blank sticker and write something kind. They were encouraged to give that sticker to a friend or someone they did not know.

Some of the feedback from the middle school students included:

  • “It was really nice to see kids wearing words of kindness and to have a good attitude about it.”
  • “Even if everyone didn’t participate it was nice to see people react when they got a compliment… almost like they didn’t expect it.”
  • “Kindness if Free and everyone should have access to it.”

At the high school, students were given the opportunity to identify the words they use to describe themselves with many choosing to wear name tags or use signs to let others know the empowering words that best describes them. Club advisors and club members discussed what it means to be unique and proud of the labels and identities that we all hold. In doing so, the students and staff were able to highlight the damage that can be done when someone applies labels to another person without that person’s permission.

BCHS Senior and GSA President Sarah Cohen said, “It’s been kind of fun having people come up to the table and think of words that describe them in positive ways.”

According to the high school’s GSA advisor and teacher Mike Mitchell, No Name-Calling Week is organized annually by GLSEN, a group dedicated to creating safe and affirming schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. The week’s activities were inspired by the James Howe novel The Misfits which tells a story about students who, after experiencing name-calling, run for student council on a No Name-Calling platform.
Mitchell said the week is rooted in the idea of #KindnessInAction — not merely recognizing the importance of kindness, but actively adding kindness into our every action.
“I’m proud of my students for stepping up and taking this movement seriously,” said Mitchell.  It is important for our youth to be proud of their identity.”