No-Name Calling Week coming soon to Orange County

| 15 Feb 2012 | 11:19

    MIDDLETOWN — Local schools and youth organizations have declared Jan. 30 to Feb. 3 Orange County No Name-Calling Week. As bullying and harassment among youth continue to gain national attention, teachers, parents, mentors and service providers will work to stem the tide. The Cultural Equity Taskforce in Orange County, a group of human service providers and community members committed to promoting the fair delivery of publicly funded services to county residents, operates on the principle that every culture has the right to develop and express itself free from oppression. “Ownership of issues around youth safety must come from the community at large,” said Nadia Allen, executive director of the Mental Health Association in Orange County and taskforce chair. "No Name-Calling Week provides an opportunity to promote respect, build self-control, confidence and resilience to bullying, both in and out of school settings." County Executive Edward Diana and Legislature Chair Michael R. Pillmeier will jointly proclaim No Name-Calling Week at the legislators' meeting at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2, at the Emergency Services Center, 22 Wells Farm Rd., Goshen. This countywide effort emanated from a Safe Schools Roundtable convened by GLSEN Hudson Valley and the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center in Kingston. As a result, community and school district leaders have come together to develop projects that address the issues of bullying and safety in local communities. The program is modeled after GLSEN’s annual No Name-Calling Week. Schools and youth organizations will create and hang posters encouraging respect and interventions to stop name calling. They will host movie nights that highlight the value of diversity, and participate in the Day of Silence. An activities menu is online at Online: Local Sponsors Cultural Equity Taskforce in Orange County (main sponsor) Joint Membership of Health and Community Agencies (JMHCA) Orange County Youth Bureau Orange County Department of Mental Health Orange County Department of Social Services Orange County Probation Department Orange County System of Care Orange-Ulster BOCES Did you know? Verbal bullying is the most frequent form of bullying experienced by both boys and girls. 96 percent of New York students regularly hear the word “gay” used in a negative way in school, such as “that’s so gay” and “you’re so gay.” 66 percent of New York students report that people at school are harassed at least sometimes because of their looks or body size. Both boys and girls report that they had been bullied away from school sometimes or weekly. Bullying creates a climate of fear and disrespect in schools and has a negative impact on student learning. Source: Cultural Equity Taskforce in Orange County