Jan. 21-25 is officially "No Name-Calling Week." No Name-Calling Week was inspired by a book The Misﬁts by James Howe. It is the story of four friends who run for student council on a "No Name-Calling" platform. Awesome, right?
In high school, people made fun of my name and I hated it. Having glasses and braces was hard enough, not to mention a weird name! I just tried to ignore the people who would make fun of me, and focus on my real friends. It only made me work harder at school, sports, and activities, and want to succeed even more. It's like that Taylor Swift lyric, "One day I’ll be living in a big ol' city, and all you’re ever gonna be is mean." I think that would have been one of my high school mottoes!
It’s important to remember if you’ve been called a name that it’s not your fault. It’s a reflection of other people’s insecurities. They want to get attention or make themselves feel bigger by making someone else feel small. Always remember you are AWESOME, not small. And you're not alone. Many, many people have been bullied and called mean names.
Even famous celebrities once had to deal with mean people. Jake Short from A.N.T. Farm was made fun of in 4th grade because his last name was “Short” and he was short. He gives this advice: "Sometimes if you talk to the bully. . . they become at a loss for words. And have a friend back you up if you need it."
Cymphonique from How to Rock also has some good advice. "Ignore any of those types of comments, and just be yourself."
Band together with your friends, and take a stand against name-calling. Here are some things you can do in your school.
- If you encounter a name-caller (whether the mean name is directed at you or someone else), give a withering look and say, “Not cool.” That might make the name-caller stop and think about what she said. Maybe she just didn't realize it was hurtful when she said it.
- Learn everyone's name in your class, and call them by their right names. This is important. Don't call someone "the short kid with braces" just because you don't know his name.
- Think before you speak. If you are about to say something that you think is funny or cool, make sure it won't hurt someone else's feelings.
- Make No Name-Calling posters to hang up in your school.
- Make a No Name-Calling T-shirt and wear it proudly all year long.
- Read The Misfits. It's really good and will totally make you think differently about the cliques in your school.
Each time you stand up for yourself or someone else, you make the world a little better. Go forth, be cool, and make a difference! And let us know in the Comments what you will do for Name-Calling Week.
—Ratha, Stacks Writer