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No Name Calling Week

January 21-25, 2013 is No Name-Calling Week, an annual week created by GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network ) to promote educational activities aimed at ending name-calling of all kinds and provide schools with the tools and inspiration to launch an on-going dialogue about ways to eliminate name-calling in their communities.

A recent GLSEN study found that in the course of a single school year, two-thirds of teens reported being verbally or physically harassed because of their perceived or actual appearance, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, race/ethnicity, disability or religion with most teens also reporting that they heard students making negative or offensive remarks related to these characteristics in their schools. In an effort to reduce the use of anti-gay language among teens, GLSEN joined the Ad Council to launch the ThinkB4YouSpeak public service campaign nationwide.

This is a shocking number of teens experiencing hate because of who they are. Regardless of how you feel about someone’s life choices, there is never a need to hurt someone. I’ve been haunted by the articles I have read about teens committing suicide due to bullying and IT HAS TO STOP. It is time to teach our children that words can hurt – just as much as a physical blow. Maybe even more. Its time – as a society – to stop the culture of hate and the cycle of violence. If it can start here – with this baby step of teaching our kids to respect others – then we are all for it.

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You can learn more about No Name-Calling week at http://www.nonamecallingweek.org/cgi-bin/iowa/home.html. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter via #wordscanhurt and on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/nonamecallingweek.

Filed under: Socially Conscious

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