by: David F. Ashton, Karl Logan, Principal at Lane Middle School, told how words can be hurtful, before an all-school assembly on January 26th.

We first told you about this event last year; now it seems to be gaining traction as a valued annual tradition at Lane Middle School. It's 'No-Name-Calling Week'.

'Do students at Lane Middle School respect one another?' is the rhetorical question Principal Karl Logan posed to his students, at an all-school assembly on Friday, January 26th.

'Yes, they do,' Logan continued, '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 in which every student feels safe, every day. Today's assembly, the culmination of 'No Name-calling Week', is a step in the right direction.'

The Principal told why this 'special emphasis week' is important, saying, 'It is a time to focus on and magnify how we look at, and how we 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 those words back before they hit the person's ears.'

At the assembly, the winner of this year's essay-writing contest, 7th grader Natasha Calamarchuk, read her composition before the assembled student body. After the program, we asked her why she put those thoughts into words.

'It is important, because it isn't good to be called names,' Calamarchuk told us. '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, told 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'.

'Then the students dressed however they wanted to, for one day,' said Campillo, 'and nobody could make fun of them for it that day.'

Campillo explained that the idea for this week-long Lane Middle School experience originally 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.'

On our way out, Principal Logan commented to us, '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 could be, if people treated one another with respect.'

This year's winning 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 - 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.

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