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PSH's Iron Hearts Club sets example during No Name-Calling Week

Published on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2022

students signing poster in PSH cafeteria 

A special new club at Philip Simmons High is encouraging its students to take a stand against bullying this week by inviting students to sign the No Name-Calling Pledge during their lunch period.

The week of Jan. 16 is “No Name-Calling Week,” a national campaign started by K-12 educators and students to end name-calling and bullying in schools.

Philip Simmons High’s No Name-Calling Week campaign is being led by the school’s new Iron Hearts Club, a club that promotes inclusion, kindness and respect among everyone at school.

As part of the campaign, club members are setting up a table during lunch and inviting their classmates to sign a No Name-Calling pledge, and to help fill a poster with positive words they identify with individually.

The Iron Hearts Club came to be after senior Robby Mayfield collaborated with special services teacher Emma Santor on ways to support the school’s students with special needs; Santor already had a name in mind for such a club.

The club is geared toward helping students with intellectual and physical disabilities build positive peer relationships and receive social mentoring from the general education population.

Club members held their most recent meeting Wednesday morning in Santor’s classroom. Santor covered the purpose of No Name-Calling Week, and encouraged club members to be mindful of the things they say to each other, and to find the strength to take a stand against conversations that target other people.

“You are accepting what you allow,” she said. “If you are allowing certain conversations to happen around you, you’re accepting that you’re okay with those things that are being said – sometimes without even noticing.”

Santor reminded club members that words do hurt, and they can “sit with you” for a long time.

“It’s really important that we’re spreading kindness, that we’re ending bullying,” she said. “I think we, as a group, can start promoting being better people, being more positive and spreading kindness.”

The club had a very successful first day of campaigning during lunch on Wednesday. They got more than 50 students and staff members to sign index card-sized pledges that Mayfield hopes they can use to create a cool collage that spells out “PSH.”

Passersby also helped fill out the giant poster promoting positive words about themselves. Many students opted to just sign their names, but a few came up with a variety of words and phrases they used to describe themselves in a good way: students handwriting that reads "I am not a bully!"

“Respectful.”

“Open-minded.”

“Amazing.”

“I am not a bully!”

The club will continue the campaign during the Thursday and Friday lunches.

Mayfield encourages others to remember to try their best to be kind – “because you never really never know what someone’s going through.”

“You want to be a person that lifts someone up, not tears them down,” he said.

group photo of club with pledge poster

Monica Kreber
kreberm@bcsdschools.net