No Name-Calling Week 2012 has arrived.

Last year, we supported No Name-Calling Week. We also called for a year-round commitment to eliminating verbal harassment. According to the website, “No Name-Calling Week is an annual week of educational activities aimed at ending name-calling of all kinds and providing schools with the tools and inspiration to launch an ongoing dialogue about ways to eliminate bullying in their communities.” A big event such as this is a wonderful way to create safe schools. A day or a week to start a conversation to creating positive attitudes, eliminating bullying and building a positive school climate. We said it last year, and we’d like to share it again:

We think that supporting great role models at recess is a start [to eliminate verbal harassment in schools].

A role model can go a long way on the school yard. Adults or students, they lead by example with their actions and words. They give the most high fives and notice the best in every student’s play. When students need feedback, every critique comes with praise. Role models are careful to speak with person-first language–always acknowledging others by name, not their qualities. All these actions encourage the youth to follow suit–sending positive messages instead of name-calling.

Adults on the playground are the seeds of good role modelling. They can explicitly teach students to give high fives to their teammates AND opponents. They encourage students to offer a “good job!” or “nice try!” to their classmates. And students can be taught to cheer for their peers by acknowledging their hard work, for example in a game of kickball: “Way to run your fastest! You nearly beat the ball to first base!”

Adults on the playground don’t need to take over a playground to stop bullying. They only to speak up during teachable moments and to lead by example to end the harassment. We believe it takes a great role model to end name-calling.

Does your school hold a No Name-Calling or other anti-bullying week?

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