Metro schools launch BeKind campaign

Aalyce Anderson, left, and Taylor Honig, two leaders of Thomas Jefferson High School kindness efforts, pose for a portrait.

Be kind.

Two simple words, one simple message for metro-area students during the 2018-19 school year.

Metro-area leaders signed a proclamation and resolution designating Friday last week as #BeKind Day Friday at the Thompson Alumni Center at University of Nebraska at Omaha.

The press conference was attended by Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert, Council Bluffs Superintendent Vickie Murillo, UNO Chancellor Jeffrey Gold and other area school and government officials, police officers, firefighters and students.

The idea was to put a focus on kindness during the new school year.

“#BeKind is a way to empower young people to make good choices in their own unique way and to help students make positive personal connections in an increasingly digitally dominated world,” a joint press release stated.

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“Our district is proud to be part of this metro-area #BeKind movement to spread kindness and respect in our schools and community,” Murillo said. “We love that our Thomas Jefferson students put their own twist on it as the Yellow Jackets and are using #BeeKind! Our students have many more activities planned to spread kindness and keep this effort going all year long.”

At Thomas Jefferson High School, they have distributed T-shirts with their mascot and their variation of the slogan. On the CBCSD website, a photo shows a large group of school administrators and other employees holding a BeKind banner, and a caption urges visitors to “Embrace the #BeKind Movement.”

The discussion about the movement began with the Metropolitan Omaha Educational Consortium, a coalition of the leadership of area school districts, community colleges and the University of Nebraska Omaha.

“#BeKind is about meeting kids where they are and giving them positive replacement behaviors that are beneficial to both them and their community,” said Millard Superintendent Jim Sutfin. “So often we tell young people no. This is about telling them yes.”

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