Kristen Pekarek

Words Can Hurt: No Name-Calling Week 2013

Inspired by the young adult novel The Misfits, where characters work together to create a no name-calling day in their schools, this annual event aims to end name-calling of all kinds in schools and communities everywhere. The No Name-Calling Week Coalition, created by whole child partner the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, provides students and educators with opportunities and resources to help celebrate the event. Below are 10 simple ways you and your school community can participate.


  1. Enter the No Name-Calling Week Creative Expression Exhibit and download art lesson plans. Engage students and community members in expression-based activities focused on name-calling and bullying and submit the artwork to the National Creative Expression Exhibit. Download art lesson plans (PDF), as well as exhibit guidelines and entry forms.
  2. Conduct No Name-Calling Week lessons. Use one of the many lesson plans available for free download to engage students in educational and creative activities. Aimed at ending name-calling and bullying, these lesson plans are organized by grade categories K–5, 6–8, and 9–12 and address name-calling and bullying through a variety of exciting and engaging activities.
  3. Story sharing. Have students and communities share stories of name-calling and bullying and brainstorm possible ways to reduce and eliminate name-calling and bullying in school.
  4. Develop a no name-calling policy. Work with students to outline rules and expectations about classroom language, calling attention to an agreement that students can make to refrain from name-calling and bullying. Refer to the classroom rules when name-calling or bullying occurs and ask students to remember that the classroom is a safe space for everyone.
  5. Write an article for the newspaper. Encourage students and community members to cover No Name-Calling Week in school publications and local newspapers.
  6. Create a library display. Ask your school librarian to create an eye-catching display of books that deal with name-calling and bullying. For suggestions you can find books highlighted for No Name-Calling Week (PDF).
  7. Discuss sportsmanship in physical education classes. A large amount of name-calling and bullying at school occurs on the field, in the gym, and the locker room. Ask physical education teachers to take a few minutes to discuss the values of sportsmanship and respect. Find tips for intervening when name-calling and bullying occur in the No Name-Calling Week guide (PDF) and at
  8. Screen the No Name-Calling Week DVD. The 27-minute DVD available in the No Name-Calling Week kit features young people talking about their experiences, with name-calling vignettes from The Misfits, name-calling scenarios, and effective anti-bullying strategies from a social worker.
  9. Take a name-calling survey. Having students and community members take a survey focusing on bullying can create dialogue on the effects of name calling and harassment. Download the name-calling survey (PDF).
  10. Promote No Name-Calling Week. School faculty, administrators, and support staff, as well as community members, can show their dedication to ending name-calling and bullying by wearing or displaying No Name-Calling Week posters, stickers, buttons, or wristbands.


In what ways do we model respectful behaviors and language for students?

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