Did you know that Jan. 24 through the 28 is No Name Calling Week in the USA? Yes, and it is a wonderful opportunity for honest conversations with children and young adult about how name calling can be hurtful, how bullying someone can lead to terrible consequences for both ends, and what are possible solutions or ways to handle different situations.
No Name Calling Week was created in 2004 by GLSEN and Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing. During this week, educational and creative activities are designed with the purpose of putting an end to name-calling of all kinds. If you click here, it will take you right to the official website where you'll find resources, lessons and activities for elementary, middle and high schools.
In my last visit to our amazing Columbus Metropolitan Library, I found an awesome new book on a topic that is a reality in our daily school lives: Bullying. Author Ouisie Shapiro wrote the book entitled Bullying and Me Schoolyard Stories which is a collection of brutal and honest experiences from people that experienced being bullied. The stories comes from kids, young adults, grownups who knows what that pain feels like. Photographer Steven Vote captures a picture of each person that brings a testimony to the book. One great contribution to this book is the advice from Dorothy Espelage, a professor of educational psychology who offers an advice or perspective at the end of each story. These different advices become a practical toolbox of ideas on how to deal with bullies.
It is a sad reality to know that there are so many children that face this kind of struggle everyday. Sometimes it is difficult for educators to realize that this happens because we don't "caught" other students during the act of bullying. However, if teachers create and raise an environment of trust and respect in their classrooms, students would feel more likely to turn to adults for help. Let's help our children, and young adult and be a voice for the voiceless.