No Name-Calling at MAHS

Meyersdale Area School District  |  Posted on

The Meyersdale Area High School No Place for Hate Club sponsored a special series of activities to coincide with “No Name-Calling Week,” January 17 through 20.

Name calling may just be words, but being called a name HURTS! That hurt can lead to anger and violence or withdrawal and fear.

“We chose to participate in the week of activities because some students have commented that they have heard students being called names here at school and it makes them feel uncomfortable. We wanted to join in with other schools across the nation to take a stand against name-calling,” explained club advisor Angel Floyd. “We also want students to know that words can in fact hurt others, and if we choose to stop allowing that type of behavior, we can make a big difference in our school culture.”

The theme for Tuesday, January 17, was “Peace, Love, and Kindness.” Students were encouraged to dress in their favorite tie-dye or go all out and dress like they were living in the 70’s! Members of the No Place For Hate group greeted students who participated and gave them tie-dyed lollipops and peace stickers.

“We hope students learn that words hurt. They lead to destructive ideas and actions. It is not difficult to be nice or spread a smile to others who need it. Life is so much more enjoyable when you take a deep breath and think before you speak. Words HURT. They make or break people’s lives! So think before you speak,” explained member Katie Sigler.

The theme for January 18 was “Team up against Name-Calling” and students wore apparel related to their favorite sports team! During lunch, students were given chocolate sports-themed candy and stickers after taking a chance to score at cornhole.

“For No Place For Hate, our goal was to encourage the students to come together and try to stop the hate. I hope that everyone can become aware of what we do matters and that kindness is an easy thing to give,” said member Haley Miller.

“Stay Bright–Name Calling takes you to the Dark Side” was the theme for January 19. Students wore their brightest clothes featuring neon colors! No Place for Hate members passed out glow sticks and sour patch kids during lunch as students enjoyed an episode of Star Wars.

“We participated in this no name-calling week because we feel it is necessary to spread the word about positivity and kindness,” explained Samantha Schardt. “I hope students learn some new social skills and I hope they learn to be kind to everyone.”

The final day of “No Name-Calling Week” was “Take a Vacation from Name-calling.” The halls were filled with students in their tackiest tourist ensembles! Those who participated were rewarded with Hawaiian leis and popsicles.

No Name-Calling Week is observed during the third week of January to educate students, teachers, and the public on the harms of name-calling. People have been called unpleasant names for their weight, height, intelligence, sexual orientation, and other things they have little or no control over. While some consider name-calling harmless fun, victims of such names generally feel insecure, ashamed, and bullied, to the extent that causes them to lose their self-esteem, feel unwanted in their immediate environments, and suffer emotional distress. Name-calling inflicts psychological injuries on victims and forces some of them into seclusion or to consider suicide.

“There needs to be more love and fewer feelings of uncertainty. There shouldn’t be so much hatred between the students. We should love being alive, we should love coming to school. Life is so much better when you have an optimistic mindset. It changes your thought process from depression to knowing you have a place here. From worthless to feeling like you’re on top of the world,” added Sigler. “The students who participated in this spirit week for No Place For Hate know that their voice counts. So, for now, we will stand up and gather around to bring an end to discrimination and hatred and fill in those gaps with positivity and light!”