Dallin and Brackett Elementary Schools Celebrate No Name Calling Week

No Name Calling Week, a time dedicated to understanding the negative power of name-calling and bullying, was observed at both Dallin and Brackett January 15-19. This event was first begun and promoted by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). Inspired by the James Howe novel The Misfits, the week is celebrated in schools across the nation. Throughout the observance, students and teachers engage in activities that focus attention on the negative impact of words, especially those dealing with a person’s identity, and ways to prevent and end these practices.

At Dallin, the week was led by the Student Council representatives in grades three through five and the goal was to help everyone understand that words can hurt and to redirect their views on how to talk with each other. To raise awareness, the SC students made posters and created artwork on the whiteboard at the school entry hall. They also did daily announcements that focused on kindness. 

Making sure that everyone in the school community understood the concept of being an Upstander was particularly important in the Dallin observance. All teachers received background information on the origins of the word and how to discuss it in the classroom. The goal was to make sure it was clear to the students that everyone can be an upstander and stand up to name-calling and unkind behavior. 

The teachers were also asked to have their classes take part in a community project in support of No Name Calling Week. Everyone was asked to write words of encouragement or a word or quote that promoted peace on a colorful heart. The Student Council collected all the hearts and created a beautiful bulletin board for all to see. Examples of what the hearts contained include “Don’t give up on yourself”, “You can make a difference”, “Listen to each other”, and “Have courage to use your voice”. On the final day of the observance, everyone was asked to wear green to represent kindness.

Brackett held their second official No Name Calling Week this year, and it was led by the Rainbow Alliance. This group has been active at Brackett since 2016, having grown out of annual LGBTQAI+ potlucks that have been happening since at least 2005. At the beginning of each Alliance meeting, students are encouraged to share their stories and observations related to LGBTQAI+ and this leads to brainstorming ways to respond, advocate, and educate the community.

This process led to the ideas of how to raise awareness and promote kindness and inclusion during their observance of No Name Calling Week. A video was created to be shared in every classroom that described how the word “gay” was not to be used as an insult, how words can hurt, and that respect and consideration should be foremost when dealing with friends and classmates. Posters were created to spread the word, and daily announcements included music and reminders such as “Remember words can build bridges not walls”, “If you see or hear somebody being called names, use your words to stand up for them”, and “Remember if you are the target of name calling, the Brackett community is here to support you”.

The active Rainbow Alliance is looking forward to moving forward with spring activities including read-alouds that support trans youth. Along with the other school Rainbow Alliances, the Brackett group will take part in the APS Pride Fair in the spring.Dallin No Name Calling Week collection of words of kindness, encouragement, and peace.

More detail from the Dallin No Name Calling Week bulletin board. Poster for the Brackett No Name Calling week.Brackett Rainbow Alliance members and posters they made for No Name Calling Week.No Name Calling Week poster and Brackett Rainbow Alliance members.Brackett Rainbow Alliance members and their No Name Calling Week poster.Brackett No Name Calling Week poster made by Rainbow Alliance members.          Brackett Rainbow Alliance member and her No Name Calling Week poster.