Take It Back: Anti-Slur Campaign

GSA Network’s Anti-Slur Campaign is where students take action to put a stop to slurs and name-calling on campus. Your campaign can address bullying and slurs based on sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, and more. Many students hear slurs everyday on campus, but don’t know how to combat them. Or students at your school may not understand the damage slurs can do. Learn how to interrupt slurs, get teachers to stop name-calling every time they hear it, and learn how to build coalitions with other student groups to create an overall climate on campus of respect and safety.

Get educated about your rights

First, learn about your rights under the California Student Safety and Violence Prevention Act of 2000. Verbal harassment and name-calling are prohibited under California law.

Learn how to file a complaint about harassment or discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

Are slurs and verbal harassment a problem at your school?

If your answer is yes, then launch GSA Network’s Take It Back: Anti-Slur Campaign.

Get your campaign started:

1. Research & Evaluation

Researching the prevalence of slurs on your campus is a great way to start a campaign to fight slurs on your campus. You can conduct your research in a number of different ways

(and you don’t need approval to do these!):

  • Tally Slurs. Have each GSA member tally the number of times in a day they hear slurs.
  • Keep Journals. Have your GSA members keep a journal of incidents that they witness and the slurs they hear, and ask them to describe what happened (and when and where).
  • Collect Stories. Have some GSA members write down their personal experiences being targeted by slurs and then put them together.
  • Distribute Student Surveys Outside of Class. Gather data to help you prove to your administrators that slurs are a problem they need to address. You can find a sample survey our Take It Back: A Manual for Fighting Slurs on Campus. Download it above.

2. Peer Education

Educating your peers is perhaps one of the most effective ways of curbing slurs on your campus as well as making your school safer for everyone. Learn how to interrupt slurs when you hear them around campus, or hold a teach-in after school or practice guerilla theater.

3. Teacher Education

Teachers can be powerful allies who can stop harassment and name-calling. Cultivate and nurture teacher allies who will commit to intervening regularly when they hear hateful speech. Organize a teacher training after school or during a professional development training day at your school.

4. Visual Activism

Art activism is a powerful way of bringing attention to your cause. Your GSA or a coalition can make armbands, buttons, T-shirts, ribbons, stickers, etc. with messages and slogans that will encourage others to take a stand against slurs. Consider if your GSA or coalition might also be able to display posters in teachers’ classrooms. You can start by getting some free posters from GSA Network.