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Beyond No Name-Calling Week: A 365 Call to Action in Your Schools and Communities

While National No-Name Calling Week may have come and gone, there is a dire need to keep the message alive 365 days a year.

 

Last week (January 21-25) was National No Name-Calling Week, an annual week created by GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network ) to promote educational activities aimed at ending name-calling of all kinds and provide schools with the tools and inspiration to launch an on-going dialogue about ways to eliminate name-calling in their communities.

While the week may have come and gone, there is a dire need to keep the message alive 365 days a year. A recent GLSEN study found that in the course of a single school year, two-thirds of teens reported being verbally or physically harassed because of their perceived or actual appearance, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, race/ethnicity, disability or religion with most teens also reporting that they heard students making negative or offensive remarks related to these characteristics in their schools. 

In an effort to reduce the use of anti-gay language among teens, GLSEN joined the Ad Council to launch the ThinkB4YouSpeak public service campaign nationwide. They are encouraging students, parents, teachers and school administrators to start taking steps aimed at reducing bullying, name-calling and anti-gay language.

Sometimes the signs of bullying are easy to identify and other times they can go undetected until it’s too late. For this reason, GLSEN and the Ad Council have developed a variety of tools such as elementary, middle and high school lesson plans, art lessons and resources to form anti-bullying committees/groups in schools and communities:

You can learn more about No Name-Calling week at http://www.nonamecallingweek.org/cgi-bin/iowa/home.html.  You can also follow the conversation on Twitter via #wordscanhurt and on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/nonamecallingweek.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Dan Johnson February 07, 2013 at 04:46 PM
The American Psychological Association : "Prejudice and discrimination have social and personal impact." "The widespread prejudice, discrimination, and violence to which lesbians and gay men are often subjected are significant mental health concerns. Sexual prejudice, sexual orientation discrimination, and anti-gay violence are major sources of stress for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. Although social support is crucial in coping with stress, anti-gay attitudes and discrimination may make it difficult for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people to find such support."
Dan Johnson February 07, 2013 at 05:25 PM
"The research, published in the January Pediatrics (Vol. 123, No. 1), found that LGB adults who reported high rates of parental rejection in their teens were 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide, 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression, 3.4 times more likely to use illegal drugs, and 3.4 times more likely to have had unprotected sex than LGB peers who reported no or low levels of family rejection, reports the study team, headed by Caitlin Ryan, PhD, of San Francisco State University. "Because families play such a critical role in child and adolescent development, it is not surprising that adverse, punitive and traumatic reactions from parents and caregivers would have such a negative influence on [young people's] risk behaviors and health status as young adults," the authors write. "Preliminary results are promising: "We've seen that families can grow and become more supportive once they've learned how their words, actions and behaviors affect their LGBT children," she says." Another, "Eisenberg and Resnick (2004) found that family connectedness, caring adults, and school safety serve as protective factors from suicide for LGB individuals."

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