No Name Calling Week: Promoting Tolerance Through a School-Wide Social Justice Initiative Lauren Ayers, Molly Bright, and Lindsey Hiemstra
Identifying the Problem Bullying is a prevalent problem in our schools today. An estimated 30% of students nationwide have engaged in bullying behavior or have been bullied by others. That’s 5.7 million youth (Feinberg, 2003).
Identifying the Problem Bullying is commonly defined as “the exposure of a student, repeatedly and over time, to intentional injury or discomfort inflicted by one or more other students” (Felix, & Furlong, 2008, p. 1280). Bullying also implies an imbalance of power.
Identifying the Problem Direct bullying - teasing, threatening, taunting, hitting and stealing Indirect bullying - social isolation, spreading rumors, and intentional exclusion, relational aggression
Statement of the Problem • 3rd-6th grade students at Meadowdale Elementary took the Student Bullying Prevention Survey in the Spring of 2007/2008 • This survey gave students the opportunity to report when, where, and how bullying was occurring at their school
Potential Barriers Since bullying is such a prevalent problem in school, the biggest barrier is how to make an impact at the school-wide level as well as at the district-wide/systems level. *Often work is done at the individual level as issues come up. NNCW is a way to develop a positive school climate in the school and is also a preventative measure.
Research Focus • Bullying is a big issue to tackle, but starting small is a step in the right direction.
No Name Calling Week • NNCW was created by the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing based on the novel The Misfits by James Howe • Launched in 2004
No Name Calling Week • The project seeks to focus national attention on the problem of name-calling in schools, and to provide students and educators with the tools and inspiration to launch an on-going dialogue about ways to eliminate name-calling in their communities. National No Name Calling Week January 25th-29th 2010
NNCW Prep • Presentation at beginning of the year staff meeting • Several meetings w/principal, counselor, and librarian to come up with ideas for activities and to plan coordination of the week.
NNCW Prep • Submitted article about NNCW to Meadowdale Elementary parent newsletter • Gathered input from teachers about preferred activities • Final list of activities were sent out to staff by email and again the day before each activity
NNCW Activities Mon.- Wall of Kindness Tues.- Pledge Banner/Creative Expressions Contest Weds.- Literature Readings and Guided Discussions Thurs.- Mix It Up Lunch Fri.- Handful of Compliments and All-School Assembly
Second Year Expansion • Included information for parents in the monthly parent newsletter • What to do if your child is being bullied • How to talk with the school staff about your child • Character Matters Play • Morning Announcements • Separate pledge banner for Primary • Distributed additional lessons ideas to teachers • Linked with MLK Jr. Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes • “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” • “Life's most urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?” • "Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” • “In the end we will remember, not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” • “The time is always right to do what is right.”
Data Analysis • Annually, the 3rd-6th grade students will complete the Meadowdale Elementary Student Bullying Prevention Survey. *In Spring of 2008/2009 school year, a parent survey was added to gather data from the school to home perspective* • These surveys will give some insight as to how effective the message and activities of NNCW are received each year by both the students and parents.
Pre-Post Test • All 6th grade students • Administered a 13 question True/False test the week prior to NNCW • Followed up at the end of NNCW • Showed some improvement in student knowledge…avg. 2% pt increase per question • Take aways: • Focus on clear message and repeat throughout week • Find other way to communicate info
Feedback From Teachers *5th/6th grade unit decided to create their own pledge banner to put in the unit’s flex area *“I loved the Pledge---I did more with it in my class after we signed the banner---felt like it needed more emphasis and attention whole school wide, especially re: the meaning of the words and what we were really promising when we signed it.”
Feedback From Teachers *“I loved the handful of compliments...I paired the kids up randomly and emphasized that they might even be paired up with someone who was not their favorite person in class---then---joke's on me---because of an uneven # of kids, my name was drawn with one of my least favorite students and I had to come up with positive things to say about him. :)”
Feedback From Teachers *“If we do it again next year...I'd like materials and agenda the week before so I can thoughtfully plan it into my days the week of. Because we really have to teach math and reading, our time is rather limited to put in some of the activities.”
Feedback From StudentsWhen students were asked what they liked about NNCW, they said… *That we talked about good manners *That no one called people names and was being a bully *People have changed—they’ve learned to be nice *People aren’t calling us names anymore *Wall of kindness *Pajama day *Pledge—signed the pledge/promise *Made bricks *Got to read about being kind to one another
Barriers • Lack of interest • Resources • Time • Teacher refusal
Overcoming Barriers • Use data to get buy-in • Identify and develop key alliances • Obtain administrator buy-in • Communicate! • Daily notices, reminders, etc. • Provide materials • Bricks, pledge banner, sign up sheets • Make it fun! Make it your own!
How to Keep the Momentum • Keep talking about it! • Kids, staff, parents… • Encourage others to participate • Personal goals • Put it on the calendar • Obtain feedback
Team Up! Events: • National No Name Calling Week • January 25th-29th 2010 • Read Across America • Martin Luther King Jr. Day Staff: • Librarian • Music Teacher • PE Teacher • Student leadership group
Testimonials from Teachers • Librarian- • It was eye opening all of the things the kids were sharing • The kids loved it • I had a substitute call me and tell me how impressed she was by what a compassionate program we have here • PE Teacher- • It seemed like a natural fit for the things we do in PE. Great opportunity to emphasize sportsmanship and teamwork. • Music Teacher- • Having the music program participate in NNCW activities created a powerful impact on student understanding not only for the performers but also the rest of the student body who watched the play
Grant Funding • Edmonds Public School Foundation Grant • Supports creative classroom grants that empowers students and teachers to explore new ideas. Idea grants are awarded to a group of teachers or a principal for innovative projects that impact several classes or the entire school. • Obtained $340 for 2 kits and materials
NNCW Kit • 27-minute video No Name-Calling: Creating Safe Environments • A resource guide with program information, lesson plans, resource lists, and other curricular material • Copy of The Misfits, a novel by James Howe • Two Packs of No Name Calling Stickers (60) • $129.95
NNCW Complementing a School-Wide Bullying Prevention Program • Clear anti-bullying policy articulated in student/parent handbook • Second Step curriculum taught in primary grades • Steps to Respect curriculum taught in Intermediate grades • School newsletter articles related to bullying • Student and parent bullying prevention surveys
NNCW Complementing a School-Wide Bullying Prevention Program cont’d • Taproot Theater • Performances related to bullying prevention • Open Door Theatre • Performances related to personal safety • Class meetings/advisory • Intentional teaching related to social emotional skills • Respect, responsibility, cooperation, problem-solving/decision making reflection/self-awareness, and recognizing students students for growth in these areas
Free Resources Online • http://www.nonamecallingweek.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/resources/index.html • Planning documents • Lesson plans • Elementary, Middle and High School • Art Lessons • Posters, Poems, Dioramas • Promotional Items • Stickers, Posters, Logos