NEW YORK --- It was intended to be a week-long nationwide celebration of tolerance and kindness. Instead, "National No Name-Calling Week", an initiative, which has received the whole-hearted support of an array of organizations ranging from The Girl Scouts of America to Amnesty International, has been pooh-poohed by neo-conservative groups as yet another effort by "guinea pig-butt liberals to promote their stupid-head pan-sexual agenda."
All throughout US middle schools, students are engaged in learning activities that will teach them about how hurtful and destructive name-calling can be. And all throughout US neo-conservative conclaves, cries of outrage are becoming more vocal.
Wearing a red polka dot dress, Bob Night, Director of Concerned Women for America, condemned the event as pro-gay propaganda "dookie", pointing out that No Name-Calling Week is sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSNED) and is inspired by gay author John Howe's novel The Misfits.
Night explained that his exotic attire had nothing to do with cross-dressing, or any other "gay stuff", but that he was following his organization's "dress code."
Sighing, he said, "It's polka dot day."
Ex-Gay Educator Dr. Morton Mark of Rove City, West Virginia, who is quick to point out that he himself is not an ex-gay man, but rather teaches gay men to become ex-gays, that one of the event's sponsors is the National Education Association (NEA), an organization labeled "terrorist" by former Education Secretary Robert Paige.
"I wouldn't go as far as call them terrorists," he said. "But GLSNED and the NEA are a bunch of jerks. I mean, why do they have to hide behind all these initials anyway?"
Rod Markham, seventh-grader at Johnsonville Middle School, feels all this name-calling is "pretty immature."
Rolling his eyes, he said, "I stopped using those words back in third grade. I still try to forget the taste of that awful soap bar. As far as having called some gay or lesbian kids some bad names, I feel sorry for having done that. I'm just entering puberty, so I am still trying to figure out what this is all about."
Johnsonville's principal, Margaret Chalker, said she is very satisfied with the program.
"Apart from a few crazies saying this is some sort of gay recruiting thing, we've had no problems, at all," she said.