This week, students and educators are participating in GLSEN's "No Name-Calling Week," addressing anti-LGBTQ+ harassment and bias-based bullying in schools. This year's theme, is #SafeToBe. It highlights the struggles of black, brown and indigenous LGBTQ+ youth bullied for their race, gender or sexuality.
Inspired by the novel,¬†The Misfits¬†by James Howe, GLSEN and Simon & Schuster Children‚Äôs Publishing established "No Name-Calling Week" throughout schools in 2004. Now, schools recognize the week long event, annually.
From teasing to torment
Experts say verbal harassment, including name-calling, remains "most pervasive form of peer victimization in secondary schools across the country."
In a 2015 study, half of middle and high school students were verbally harassed about their appearance/body size. Additionally, 1 in 3 students say they were bullied for their race/ethnicity. And about one in five say they were made fun of because of their gender expression or their actual or perceived sexual orientation.
However, taunts can easily result in a much more serious matter.
Last year, a national survey reported that 40% of LGBTQ+ youth and more than half of transgender respondents had¬†seriously considered suicide¬†in the last year. And the coronavirus pandemic only intensified these feelings, leaving many students without the safe spaces and resources available.
How to support No Name-Calling Week
Despite living in the middle of a pandemic, there are still ways to help out special causes.
1. If you can, donate
Help make classrooms a safe space for ALL students and donate to the GLSEN project, here. Not only will it help with No Name-Calling Week, but it will also aid in other projects helping LGBTQ+ in school.
2. Sign the Pledge
3. Teach and educate
Luckily, GLSEN provides a ton of resources for students, parents and educators on how they can spread the message. Check out some of the ways you can make schools across the nation a safer place for you and your peers.