It’s no name-calling week.
And I’m confused. Why is it just a week? In my classroom, in my family, it’s an every-day, every-week rule.
When I was growing up, certain words were not allowed in our home. And in my classroom, certain words are not allowed. (“H-a-t-e” is a bad word and is not said in Room 7). We do not laugh at someone who makes a mistake; someone who truly tried to answer a question, offer a comment, or read a paragraph aloud, and somehow did so incorrectly. We do not call someone a name based on how they look, what they wear, or how they perform in the classroom.
Throughout my life, I’ve been teased for being smart. For having a first name that is associated with Peter Pan and a certain hamburger fast-food chain. For having a name that sounds like a weather description. I’ve been teased for being asthmatic, suffering from acne, for being a slow runner, and someone who has neat handwriting.
All those things are true about me. I do run slowly. I do write neatly. I do have asthma. I did have terrible acne. Being teased and being called mean names doesn’t make it any easier to live with those situations. And I know that children and adults (because, yes adults do tease as well) name-call for different reasons. They are jealous. They are trying to be funny (and it never is). They are insecure themselves and want to deflect the attention away from themselves and onto another.
But why is it just a week? Why do we focus on the cruelties and the meanness and the unnecessary actions of name-calling for just a week?
Where did this idea come from that we can make fun of others, ridicule others for things that are, most often, out of their control? Why do we tolerate it?
I think there needs to be a drastic change in our every-day behaviors and actions. In my mind, every week should be no name-calling week!