No Name-Calling Week

The following article appears on the GLSEN Web site at: http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/educator/library/record/1415.html.

GLSEN Begins Countdown to “No Name-Calling Week”
GLSEN , Nov 24, 2003
Contacts:
Michelle Sims, Media Relations Specialist
msims@glsen.org, Phone : (212) 727-0135 x138

Tracy van Straaten, Executive Director of Publicity tracy.van.straaten@simonandschuster.com, Phone : (212) 698-2809 (fax: 4350)

New York, NY - November 17, 2003 - The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, or GLSEN, in conjunction with Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing and a team of almost forty other partners, is pleased to announce a new initiative called “No Name-Calling Week.” During the week of March 1 - 5, 2004, schools serving grades five through eight across the nation will be asked to take part in a week of education activities aimed at stopping name-calling and verbal bullying of all kinds. Former NFL player and activist Esera Tuaolo has been tapped to be the official spokesperson for this weeklong event.

“It is with great excitement that GLSEN prepares to coordinate the very first `No Name Calling Week',” said GLSEN Executive Director Kevin Jennings. “At a time when the national spotlight has been cast upon the problem of bullying in our nation's schools, GLSEN is thrilled to be working with such a prestigious coalition of partners for this new project.”

“No Name-Calling Week” 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 in their communities. A resource guide with lesson plans, a video for classroom use and other promotional materials will be available for educators to assist in facilitating the week's activities. Although the project is targeted at grades five through eight - years when the problem of name-calling is particularly acute - the concept can be easily adapted by students and educators at other grade levels.

The “No Name-Calling Week” project was inspired by The Misfits, a novel written by popular author James Howe and published by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing. The novel tells the story of a group of seventh grade friends that, after repeated taunting based on weight, height, intelligence and sexual orientation/gender expression, decide to run for student council on a platform aimed at wiping out name-calling of all kinds. Although they lose the election the message wins out, and the principal backs their call for a “No Name-Calling Day” at school.

About “No Name-Calling Week”:

“No Name-Calling Week,” to be observed March 1 - 5, 2004, is a joint project initiated by GLSEN and Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing in collaboration with over thirty other organizations that is aimed at stopping name-calling and verbal bullying of all kinds in our nation's schools. The project was inspired by James Howe's novel The Misfits, in which four outcast students come together to end name-calling in their school and end up establishing “No Name-Calling Day.” For more information on this weeklong event, visit www.NoNameCallingWeek.org.

About GLSEN:

GLSEN, or the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. Established nationally in 1995, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. For more information on GLSEN's educational resources, public policy agenda, student organizing programs or development initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.

About Simon & Schuster:

Simon & Schuster, part of the entertainment operation of Viacom Inc., is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic and multi-media formats. Its divisions include the Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, Simon & Schuster New Media, Simon & Schuster Online, and international companies in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit our website at http://www.simonsays.com.

List of “No Name-Calling Week” Partners as of November 17, 2003

Advocates for Youth American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education American Counseling Association American School Counselor Association American School Health Association Amnesty International Anti-Defamation League Asian Pacific Islanders for Human Rights Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Children's Defense Fund Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders Council of Chief State School Officers Facing History and Ourselves Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network Girls Incorporated Girl Scouts of the USA Human Relations Media Human Rights Watch Mix It Up National Association for Gifted Children National Association for Multicultural Education National Association of Elementary School Principals National Association of School Nurses National Association of School Psychologists National Association of Secondary School Principals National Association of Social Workers National Conference for Community and Justice National Mental Health Association National Middle School Association New Moon Publishing Planned Parenthood Federation of America School Social Work Association of America Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Simon Wiesenthal Center-Museum of Tolerance Skipping Stones, Inc. Women's Educational Media Women's Sports Foundation