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NAMES program at school

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Vince S., Oct 28, 2004.

  1. Vince S.

    Vince S. Resident Former Bassist

    Jan 24, 2003
    Tomorrow will be the Names Can Really Hurt program at my school. Its a program by the Anti-Defamation League, which includes an open forum, group discussions, and other activities. The point of the program is to open students' eyes to discrimination, prejudice, and hate that goes on in high school.

    I'm hoping to go up there and say a few words, but I'm not so sure of myself. I was building up the nerve all week to do it, but I'm not too good with going in front of an audience, especially my entire grade, to make a speech. What worsened that matter was during a free period today I overheard a few kids in my grade saying "Haha we gotta go to 'names' tomorrow and listen to a bunch of losers whine about their problems" (Obviously these are the kinds of the kids the program is trying to touch). These were also the same kids that once got in a confrontation with me and tried to start a fight by calling me racial slurs. So with that in the back of my mind, I'm a little bit unsure of whether or not to go up there.

    Anyone else have this at their school? Any thoughts?

  2. I think it's a good idea, and this is from someone who's sick to death of PC-mania. I don't know how well it will go over but it certaintly can't hurt.

    I'd start with a disclaimer saying something to the effect of, "I know this may seem silly to a lot of you. I know what you're thinking. 'It's only words.'"....and so on. This way you have already disarmed a bunch of the potential hecklers by acknowledging what they are thinking before the heckling even starts. Even be a little self deprecating for the same effect.

    Don't get discouraged. When I was that age I would have laughed and said it was ridiculous. For many it's a power and popularity struggle and the only way some people know how to deal with it is to tear other people down. It's immaturity and most people grow out of it. I say most.
  3. Vince S.

    Vince S. Resident Former Bassist

    Jan 24, 2003
    Just wanted to post how it went. The NAMES program was amazing. If your high school (for those of you in HS) who don't have it, you should suggest it to the admin.

    The open mic session was amazing; so many people went up to share stories about how they've been hurt or have been hurt by others. Some of the people I least expected to go up went, and it showed that even some of the toughest people have a soft side. I went up and shared my thoughts, and I felt pretty relieved afterwards. It was a great experience, very emotional and moving. I could just feel a really good vibe around, and people were friendlier and nicer towards each other.

    Amazing day.