According to the National Youth Association, for every gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender student who reported being harassed, four straight students said they were harassed for being perceived as gay or lesbian. In addition, there is a strong link between bullying and suicide. “Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University.” (www.bullyingstatistics.org)
No Name-Calling Week was created by GLSEN (Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network) along with Simon & Schuster Children’s publishing, and boasts over 40 national partner organizations. Check out the link above to the Simon & Schuster site to find books to read about the topic of bullying.
This year, January 21-25 was identified as a week to focus on these issues. However, materials are available to address this issue at any time.
“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 and bullying in their communities.” (www.nonamecallingweek.org)
The website www.nonamecallingweek.org is full of resources for Elementary, Middle, and High School educators, as well as Art lessons and promotional items. Lessons at the elementary level were co-produced with the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and include information on what to do if you are being bullied, how to help others who are being bullied, and creating a bully-free building. All resources are free and available for immediate download on the site.
Whether you're an educator, parent, scout leader, or other professional or volunteer who works with youth, check out these resources and engage youth in this important topic.