No Name Calling Day: Entirely Effective or Entirely Pointless?

On January 12, 2012, Governor Deval Patrick declared a state-wide “No Name Calling Day,” a day where every student in Massachusetts was encouraged to dress in all black to raise awareness for bullying and stop it all-together. Because wearing black one day out of the entire year to prove that you’re never going to bully anybody or call anyone a name ever again is going to wipe bullying away for good, right?

From my observations in my own school, No Name Calling Day proved to be entirely ineffective and almost redundant. A few handful of students dressed in complete black attire, and a good chunk of the student body signed a poster outside the cafeteria stating that they would make a stand against bullying and would hereby not bully anyone again. At 1:49, No Name Calling Day was over, and for the next 2 months, the school would return to its normal place - as a community with immense disrespect for others and for themselves widespread and vigilant.

The only change my school experienced that day was a few new posters on the windows on the cafeteria.

Wearing black on one day out of the entire school year will not, no matter what school officials and politicians try to say, wipe out bullying. While bullying is a growing problem throughout the country, asking kids to wear a black shirt for a day is not going to prove anything. To me, the day was like Christmas - the hype lasted for a little while, and the next day sank into a quiet lull.

Bullying, unfortunately, is an inevitable part of school, and a part of school that dates back many years. It will never be wiped out entirely; there will always be a group of horrific kids in school that are out to make someone else’s life miserable. Despite its staying power, bullying is proving itself to be a difficult and large problem to face in the next coming years. There is no doubt that it has to be significantly reduced in order to maintain dignity and a peaceful setting throughout schools in the country. But bullying can only be tamed if the people directly involved in the school - students, teachers, administrators - are willing to teach it through example and everyday exchanges with one another, and not just simply wearing black to show that they are against it.

Acting upon the promises you’ve made to stop bullying is more effective than just showing the promises. Only when we begin doing that will changes start to be made.





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