POSITIVITY IS #BEKIND OF A BIG DEAL


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By now, you’ve seen it everywhere- posters, t-shirts, and even your student ID. What is this phrase? #BeKind is Omaha’s new initiative to encourage kindness in schools.

In the age of cyberbullying, “13 Reasons Why”, and social media, it’s great that schools have adopted this way of spreading awareness. Focusing on positivity is a step in the right direction for combating bullying. The question, however, is just how effective #BeKind will actually be.

Ideally, #BeKind will work to raise awareness about bullying and bring mindfulness to students. Aug. 24th’s connection fair, as well as Mayor Stothert’s endorsement at the following football game, helped to bring attention to #BeKind.

That being said, one must ask how powerful #BeKind is in the minds of students right now. Will a bully in the midst of teasing their victim stop once they think of a hashtag? Will a student stop having an attitude towards their teacher if that teacher dons a #BeKind t-shirt?

Possibly, and hopefully, but these scenarios might not pan out in such a way. We should focus on implementing #BeKind in new ways that will better appeal to students and make it more effective.

One issue facing #BeKind is lack of awareness from students about its origin. In fact, ten out of 15 students stated that they did not know where the slogan’s origin. Recently, a local superintendent’s son was badly bullied and took his own life. This tragedy sparks the #BeKind movement in Omaha. Putting a real-life story behind the hashtag will cause students to realize how important it really is. Students must be engaged in creating a kinder community.

“This kind culture is going to have to be driven by the students,”  Superintendent Dr. Jim Sutfin said.

An idea to make #BeKind more effective is to create a student-led group.

While #BeKind possesses a needed message, it would be better if students are involved in sharing it. In a few simple ways, #BeKind can be remastered to be as effective as possible and to get students excited about spreading kindness.

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POSITIVITY IS #BEKIND OF A BIG DEAL