For this we need a longer school day?

Next up, head lice check and fluoride swish and spit!

Next up, head lice check and fluoride swish and spit!

Letter to Parents from Greenwich High School:

We are pleased to inform you that on Thursday, December 6, the Greenwich High School Class of 2016 will take part in a program called “Names Can Really Hurt Us.”  Co-sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League and Greenwich High School, “Names” is an all-day workshop that invites students to explore how name-calling and other forms of prejudice can poison the atmosphere at school and lead to serious consequences. Names” has been delivered successfully at schools throughout Connecticut, including Staples, Weston High School, Darien High School, and Fairfield High School.  This year will be the thirteenth consecutive year that“Names” will be part of the freshman orientation process.

The day’s activities will start with an assembly during which members of the student body will share their experiences with prejudice, either as targets, perpetrators, bystanders, or allies.  Prepared speeches by GHS students will be followed by an open-microphone period during which students in the audience can respond to the speakers or share their own experiences.  The freshmen will then eat lunch together in a specially scheduled lunch block.  After lunch, student/faculty teams who have completed an extensive training program will facilitate a discussion period.

We appreciate your support for this endeavor.  Since 2000 it has helped lay the foundation for a more unified, more sensitive student body in our diverse GHS community.  Further questions should be directed to your student’s House Administrator.

Sincerely yours,

Carol Sutton

Names Steering Committee Chair

Cantor House

An interesting expenditure of funds just as the school budget comes up for review.


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29 responses to “For this we need a longer school day?

  1. NewJunkie

    I asked about the cost of this program last year. I was stone-walled at every turn, and was told that “if Names Day helps just one kid, then it’s worth any cost.,

    Also FYI for all patents: GHS marks this day as an “absence” even if your child attends that day. My child has perfect attendance except for this day. When I called up to ask about this absence, I was told that Names Day is not an academic day, so it’s recorded as an absence (that’s because of the slavish adherence to the new attendance policy that the principal and the BOE pat themselves on the back for). So parents do yourself and your kids a favor and keep them home that day. It’s a big waste of time.

  2. Anonymous

    Tits on a bull.

  3. Libertarian Advocate

    Absolutely pathetic. I well remember the saying my mother taught me as a child. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. The mental auto-eroticists in public education today are effectively pussifying an entire generation of children by effectively morphing the old mantra into Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will thoroughly destroy me I just finished reading “Unbroken” the story of Louis Zamperini’s POW ordeal in Japanese prison camps during WW II. Had American kids been taught then as they are now, its unlikely there would have been ANY POW survivors, but then its also unlikely we would have won the war. NOTE TO PUSSIFIERS: Cut the shit; you’re doing your and our children no great favors pushing that nonsense.

  4. Anonymous

    Real self esteem comes from actually doing esteemable things. That is one important life lesson, of many, that I never learned at GHS.

  5. Balzac

    As noted, Names day is not a recent innovation: it has been held annually at GHS for 13 years. If you were to attend it, you would observe students meeting the emotional risk of taking reponsibility for their occasional prejudice against gays/non-athletes/the handicapped/others.

    If yours is a well brought up adolescent, then yes, reinforcing respect for others may be superfluous.

    But there are plenty of kids who need to face and overcome this behavior. Names day is an opportunity for the students to get their heads out of Shakespeare and into a real life lesson, in a forum run by the students, with minimal teacher intervention.

    • JRH

      This is right on.

    • “Names day is an opportunity for the students to get their heads out of Shakespeare” – are you friggin’ kidding me, Balzac? Students today are assigned short reading passages concerning gays, transvestite parents and the homeless – all objects of bullying, by the way – and couldn’t tell you who Shakespeare was, let alone understand his language. If they were to read the bard, they might encounter this:
      “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” All’s Well That Ends Well

  6. Greenwich Gal

    Carol Sutton is an extraordinary educator and one of the bright shining stars at GHS. I think you all are being short sighted here. Names Day, while not being an academic day, is truly eye opening for the kids and I think they get something out of it. My kids, like many, of course, snickered and laughed but still came back with a deeper and broader appreciation of the diversity of humanity. When you have high schools as big as GHS, often a “Balkanization” of groups take place and can lead to bullying and other abhorrent behaviours. See Columbine, etc. You don’t see that kind of violence in smaller schools where kids learn to appreciate each other.
    Don’t get me wrong – sometimes a kid does need to get their ass kicked. But not because one is gay, bulimic, handicapped or somehow different.

  7. greenwich dude

    not so ridiculous at all, in my opinion
    the reality is that kids can be monsters, and things like this help lower the probability of ending up with adults as monsters. yes yes yes of course thats the parents job blah blah blah but parents are failing everywhere, clearly.

    • “If it spares the feeling of just one child…” blah blah blah yourself. For this 1,000 students are yanked out of class to parade before their peers and confess their shortcomings? Face it – high school sucks, bullies or not. Bad teachers, boring classes and sheeple peers. It’s an endurance test, period, and the experience of being teased and ridiculed will prepare a conservative student for encountering the monolith of liberal professors and deans awaiting him in college.

  8. NewJunkie

    Ok, Balzac and Greenwich girl, but why the secrecy regarding the cost to taxpayers? Why doesn’t Carol Sutton’s letter include an opt-out option for those who think it’s ridiculous waste of time? And why doesn’t she mention that this day is counted as an academic absence? If more parents knew about that, I can assure you that Names Day would not be as well attended. Also a more detailed agenda should be included–seriously MTV videos of Katy Parry and Michael Jackson?

  9. Walt

    Dude –
    What beaurocratic moron came up with this idea? Some liberal half-witted blue hair with bony knees? And who is it that decides what names are ok and which are offensive? Do we have a panel of word Nazi’s? I would like to meet them. Those politically correct, gender neutral douche bags.

    If some snot nosed kid is a fat little bastard, is it wrong to call him that? Does he not know he is a fat little bastard? WELL HE SHOULD!! And the parents should stop stuffing pizza and Doritos down his fat little throat, so he is no longer a fat little bastard.

    These people are just retarded. Where does it stop? Is slut a bad word? I use it as a term of endearment.

    What do you think, you frigging loser?
    Your Pal,

  10. Walt

    Pinhead –
    And why is my comment awaiting moderation? Has your grand little experiment ended after less than a day?
    You ignorant slut.
    Your Pal,

    • You’ll notice that this one went up immediately. Don’t know why the first got hung up, but the filter might have picked up he word “Nazi”, which is the plague of all comment boards. There’s a law of nature, discovered by someone else, called something like “The Rule of Six”, that says that someone will call another a Nazi within six comments on an unmoderated board and the discussion goes downhill from there. So perhaps that’s the reason.

  11. Greenwich Gal

    Yeah, I wanted to mention that appreantly I am not on the “special list” of posters as my comment was “awaiting moderation.” Really, CF? After all this time together?

    • I don’t know why it’s blocking some comments and not others – not ready for prime time, obviously, but I just switched over, so let’s see if it can’t learn ip addresses faster.

  12. Stanwich

    With a school the size of GHS, this day is a very good idea. It is true that there is a very intense “Balkanization” of groups. I don’t think this is a waste of time at all. It is helps even a very small group of kids feel less ostracized, or compels others to stop being bullys, this days it worth it. Unfortunately the success of a day like this can never be quantified, it doesn’t mean it is a waste. You will never know if a school shooting was averted by a day like this. Just think about it for a second.

    • handing out cuddlies and teddy bears opening day would achieve the same effect, at less cost of time and money. So would issuing pistols, with instructions on how to use them against bullies or, in deference to the more sensitive among us, jumbo-size cans of pepper spray. A good dousing in the eyes of a bully would work wonders.

  13. NewJunkie

    This Greenwich disinterest in knowing what programs cost has led us to the untenable MISA project. I never see the cost of MISA published, but I hear it’s north of $30 million. Take a step back for a minute: the town already owns the land so we’re just talking about construction prices. Over the border in Stamford, a new state-of-the art high school (AITE) was built for $44 million. Come on people, you owe it to the taxpayer to be upfront about costs.

  14. Georgie

    NewJunkie…the BOE and PTA are so well organized that they are accustomed to getting what they want they want. Just ask yourself how many PARENTS did you ever see speak out against the PTA or BOE push for MISA? None.

    Talk about bullying and peer pressure—-how about starting with the adults in the room.

  15. 3G

    I will let my son sleep in, get homework out of the way at his leisure and take him to his favorite Mexican take out.

    • Why not invite Walt along and your son can learn to address the counter help as wetback and taco boy? And if the waitress could lose a few pounds and needs her weight problem brought to her attention, well, Walt can help with that too. Good habits cannot be started too young!

  16. Anonymous

    I remember a kid teasing me in middle school for being chubby. It really did hurt my feelings, and I will always remember the words he said to me. But it did partly inspire me to make some lifestyle changes. A year later I started running, lifting weights, playing sports, and quit eating so much junk. I got accepted to and graduated from the top engineering school in the country, played sports in college, and later commissioned and served two combat deployments as an officer in the military. Today, I would gladly compare golf handicaps, 5k times, and bank accounts with that guy. You know what the greatest revenge is? Success.

    “Names Day” didn’t exist at GHS back then, and I didn’t need it.

  17. Anonymous

    Honestly I am not sure if this a great idea but my gut instinct tells me that although most teenagers survive high school and prosper as adults that bullying is becoming a larger problem today than one most readers were in high school. I attribute this to social media and the ability to anonymously bully somebody very quickly. That is the difference and it seems that rates of teenage suicide are increasing. I can not verify that, I could be quite wrong, but it seems that hardly a week goes by without reading of a suicide somewhere due to Facebook hazing.

    • I don’t have the figures either, Anon, but my hunch is that what’s changed is media coverage of such events and not an increase in teen suicides. For instance, child abductions by strangers (most such cases are disputes between warring parents) are unchanged since 1957 – they remain exceedingly rare – but today, a child snatched in some small town in Florida makes it to national evening news instead of staying limited to the town where it took place. It appears that there are more such incidences when in fact we’re just hearing of more of them.
      One liberal commenter on this blog was shocked, apparently, to learn of the CDC’s prediction that 48,000 Americans will die of the flu this year. He was unaware of that because the national press considers flu deaths too common to bother covering, which is fine with me – they’re the ones who have to make a living grabbing the attention of their viewers and if a common, predictable event won’t do that, why cover it? But if we were treated to a lead story, every night, on that day’s flu deaths, we’d soon believe we were in the middle of an unprecedented epidemic, rather than an annual return of an old disease.
      You may remember the way in el Salvador back in the late 70’s, early 80’s. Nuns were raped, villages razed, death was everywhere, and Dan Rather started each evening broadcast with news of that day’s atrocities. Then he and his colleagues at the other networks grew tired of the story and moved on to other matters and el Salvador disappeared from the national consciousness, even though the war continuyed for three more years.
      If it’s not on TV it no longer exists in our modern society and the opposite is just as true.

  18. Cynical mom

    Call me a cynic but isnt this about making sure that the school, town and board of ed doesnt get sued. If they truly cared about it, they wouldnt bother with this stuff but have a zero tolerance policy and throw out anyone who violated it, no whining from entitled parents allowed.