Rye Neck High School students and staff members participated in No-Name Calling Week from Jan. 16-20, which was created by the Gay-Lesbian Student Education Network. Throughout the week, members of the high school’s Gay Straight Alliance club encouraged their peers to sign a pledge to support each other within the school community and prevent bullying.

“No-Name Calling Week is an annual event of educational activities aimed at ending name-calling of all kinds and providing schools with the tools and inspiration to launch an ongoing dialogue about ways to eliminate bullying in their communities,” school psychologist Jayme Harjes said.

The week began with homeroom teachers playing a video clip describing the background, purpose and importance of No-Name Calling Week. Throughout the remainder of the week, GSA club members asked students to sign a pledge to celebrate kindness and reflect on names they have been called. They also handed out candy canes with facts about bullying attached to them. On the final day, GSA officers displayed the signed pledge to raise awareness about the issue.

“The GSA looks forward to leading the high school in participating in the No-Name Calling Week annually,” Harjes said.

Adopted by schools nationwide, No-Name Calling Week has grown into one of the largest bullying-prevention initiatives in the country. GLSEN strives to end discrimination, harassment and bullying based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in schools.