A 10-year old-girl in Framingham, Mass., reads the letters that were given to her at school — “you’re a terrorist” and “I will kill you.”
Less than an hour away, a middle school student reads the words “gas the Jews” written on a brick in the lobby of his school.
In Wisconsin, a group of several dozen young men give the Nazi salute in their prom photo.
Hate crimes and related incidents are on the rise in schools across the country. FBI data shows that reported hate crimes at K-12 schools and colleges increased by 25% in 2017.
All children deserve to learn in environments where they feel safe, respected, and welcome. But when hate finds a home in our hallways, classrooms, and playgrounds, students are forced to live in fear. That makes the ability to learn and to thrive profoundly more difficult.
The Middle School Kindness Challenge provides educators with research-based curriculum designed to teach 4th-8th graders the practical life skills of kindness.
Participating schools have seen significant declines in discipline referrals leading to in- and out-of-school suspensions. Teachers and students also say they feel more accepted and understood by their peers as a result of completing the Kindness Challenge.
Kindness can be taught. Let’s show students how to treat others respectfully so school becomes a safer place for everyone.
To learn more about the Middle School Kindness Challenge and to sign up, visit middleschoolkindnesschallenge.org.