Fort Scott Middle School has scheduled a weeklong series of activities designed to teach faculty, staff and students more about respect and manners.
A variety of activities are planned for No Name-Calling Week, a nationally-recognized event that was created to help raise faculty and student awareness regarding name-calling and bullying, and to raise the self respect of everyone involved, a news release said.
FSMS Counselor Tammy Claypool, who is coordinating the week's activities, said the event, which runs through Friday, is being conducted for the first time at FSMS and is part of the school's ongoing anti-bullying campaign.
"We're trying to urge students, for one week, to stop name calling," she said.
Activities this week include a poster contest in which students can design posters promoting anti-bullying to be displayed by classrooms, an essay contest where students can describe their personal experiences or write about their plan to end bullying and a discussion period on the topics of name-calling and bullying.
"We'll focus on the importance of how words can hurt; to be careful in selecting words we use when we describe someone and not to use hurtful words," FSMS Principal Barbara Albright said. "We got teachers on board and they were all very supportive. It's harmful when someone is called a name."
Incentives for students to participate in various activities include treats and movie tickets. Essay contest winners will receive a small cash prize and acknowledgment at an awards assembly.
Claypool said the event is "experimental," but teachers and students are eager to participate. She said the idea is to create a safe environment where everyone in the school feels comfortable.
"This is our home away from home, and we want this to be a safe place for students to come," she said, adding name-calling is something that can be easily stopped. "Name-calling is a basic thing everybody has control over."
"If it helps a couple kids, empowers them or makes them more aware, then it works," she added.
Monday was an introductory day with students being introduced to the event and signing pledge sheets. Classes developed slogans promoting anti-bullying and "no name-calling" to be hung in classrooms and used for the rest of the school year.
Students were scheduled to participate in a "mix-it-up"-style lunch with assigned seating and complete "mixer" activities at lunchtime Tuesday.
Students also planned to watch a short "No Name-Calling Week" video and answer questions about name-calling and bullying in school.
On Wednesday, teachers are encouraged to briefly share with their classes a "label" they have endured at some point in their lives and have a short discussion with students regarding labels they have encountered. Claypool and her student helpers will present short activities to students during lunch periods Wednesday and some prizes will be awarded.
Thursday activities include labeling activities and "no name-calling" log sheets that will be distributed to a group of student volunteers. Results of the log sheets will be shared with students during lunchtime Friday. A short wrap-up activity is also planned.
Faculty and students will show their school pride by wearing their grade level T-shirts on Friday as "pride in their school is a huge step toward ending bullying," the release said.