Bullies

Menstuff® has compiled the following information on a program to combat bullying in Kansas City, Mo.

Character lessons at Northgate awarded


Northgate Middle School has received a national award for its efforts toward character education.

The New York-based Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network named Northgate the winner of schools with grades five through eight for its annual Creative Expression Contest centered on No-Name Calling Week, January 21-25, 2008.

The reward is a visit from children’s author James Howe, whose works include the Bunnicula series and The Misfits, upon which No-Name Calling Week is based.

“We were just blown away by all the stuff they were doing,” said GLSEN spokesman Daryl Presgraves.

The school’s observation began earlier this month when student advisory groups began making “Peace Doors” decorations. Classes at the school, 2117 N.E. 48th St., have discussed the project’s significance in light of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. And on Thursday, a delegation from the school will receive a No-Name Calling Week proclamation from the Kansas City Council, presented by Mayor Pro Tem Alvin Brooks.

The school will hold an assembly on Tuesday featuring the “Be Cool in School” hip-hop tour, with visiting dancers from City in Motion Dance Theater Inc. Howe will meet with sixth-graders and faculty next Wednesday.

Northgate’s campaign also encompasses community service. A class project to collect hygiene supplies for soldiers in the Middle East has grown to include much of the school, and students will assemble the packages later this month.

Northgate’s site council — a consortium of administrators, teachers, parents and students — made safety and respect a school priority in 2004. Ever since, the school has dedicated time that included No-Name Calling Week to the cause.

This year was the first that GLSEN’s contest extended past individuals to schools, Presgraves said.

“That’s just kind of a happy accident,” said Kate Sargent, Northgate’s community resource specialist. “We already had the plan.”

GLSEN released a study on harassment and bullying in 2005. In it, 65 percent of middle school and junior high students said they had been assaulted or harassed in the previous year. The study, “From Teasing to Torment: School Climate in America,” resulted from the survey of more than 3,400 teenagers and more than 1,000 teachers.

Said Sargent: “It’s a problem in every school.”

Source: Lindsay Hanson Metcalf, E-Mail. Story at the Kansas City Star www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/local/16473309.htm

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In violence, we forget who we are. - Mary McCarthy



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