No names called at Lane

See what happens when grade school kids focus on being respectful to one another, during “No Name-Calling Week: ‚Ķ

Winner of Lane Middle School’s “No Name-Calling Week” essay contest, 7th grader Natasha Calamarchuk, reads her entry before an all-school assembly.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
“Do students at Lane Middle School respect one another?” is the rhetorical question principal Karl Logan poses to students at an all-school assembly on January 26.

“Yes,” Logan continues, “but I’d like to see the day when students can walk the halls and never hear unkind words. Some day, we’ll be at a place at which every student feels safe, every day. This assembly, the culmination of ‘No Name-calling Week’, is a step in the right direction.”

Karl Logan, Principal at Lane Middle School, tells how words can be hurtful before an all-school assembly.

The principal tells why this special emphasis week is important, saying “It is a time to focus on and magnify how we look at, and treat, each other. Words do hurt, as much as sticks and stones. Many of you have come to the principal’s office because you have been hurt by words. When you name-call, you can’t reach out and pull words back before they hit the person’s ears.”

At the assembly, winner of this year’s essay-writing contest, 7th grader Natasha Calamarchuk, read her composition before the student body. After the program, we ask her why she put these thoughts into words. Her essay is reprinted at the end of this article.

“It is important, because it isn’t good to be called names,” Calamarchuk says. “Maybe people will use more appropriate words. It will help the school if we all better get along with one another.”

The annual event’s organizer, and the school’s librarian, Linda Campillo, tells us that activities during No Name-Calling Week include “throwing bad names into a trash can” at the entrance of school; creating posters, essays, and poetry about No Name Calling; and voting for each grade’s “best citizen”.

Shelli Vang and Amethyst Davis created the award-winning poster on the left; student artist Jessica Penaloza holds her award winning poster.

“Then they dressed however they wanted to for one day,” illustrates Campillo, “and nobody could make fun of them.”

Campillo says the idea for the week-long experience came from the book “The Misfits” by James Howe. “Several eighth-grade classes have been reading the book, and a small group of students also presented some scenes from the book in a video.”

Lucia Medina is also recognized for her poem, “Poison words”.

On our way out, Principal Logan commented, “This is the second year Lane has celebrated No Name-Calling Week, and many students have said they really enjoy the events. But, what’s most important is that it gives our young people the opportunity to see how their community would be, if people treated one another respect.”

Natasha’s Essay
Everyone has been called a name more than once. Name-calling can be very hurtful to people. It’s very mean! I think that some people say bad words just because they are bored with their own minds. Or maybe some people don’t have any friends and they try to act all cool. You know, no one ever got a friend by name-calling.

Bullying is also like name-calling. People get beat up, and they feel very sad. Same with name-calling. But you don’t get hurt on the outside ‚Äì just on the inside. I think the best way to stop name-calling is to make friends with the bully or person who is calling you names. So, if you are bullied, or called a name, you have two options: Ignore, or be a friend.
Natasha Calamarchuk, 7th Grade, Lane Middle School

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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