The 2001 novel The Misfits by James Howe focuses on four friends trying to survive seventh grade. After running a gauntlet of teenage taunts and insults, this small group sets out to create a “No Name Day” at school.
Six years ago, that idea inspired the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Simon & Schuster to launch “No Name-Calling Week.” The project is designed to raise awareness about the impact of name-calling and to kick off classroom discussions about how to stop it. This year’s edition begins Monday, January 25.
No Name-Calling Week is aimed at grades five through eight, the period when kids seem to be at their bullying best. But it can be applied to any grade level. Teachers looking for ideas and resources can go to the event’s website. One of the resources is an expensive kit containing a video, posters, etc. But teachers don’t need the kit in order to participate. Just bring a desire to combat this cruel, distracting aspect of teenage life.
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