These days, it comes as no surprise that bullying goes on in schools. What is surprising–and very encouraging–is Bayfield High School’s innovative program to combat insensitive behavior. The idea is to help young people empathize with others and see things from the point of view of someone else.
The cornerstone of the program, Be Kind Week, was held in December. Teachers and staff created a variety of fun activities for students to encourage them to reach out to people they wouldn’t normally interact with. The week’s highlight was a trip for the entire student body to see the movie “Wonder,” based on a novel about an elementary school student, Auggie Pullman, with facial differences. One BHS student commented after the film, “I loved it. I cried.” Another said, “You never know who is struggling.”
A concept from the movie that lives on at BHS is that of “precepts.” One of Auggie’s teachers, Mr. Browne, has a precept — “any saying or ground rule that can motivate you” — for his class each month. When the month is up, the students write about the precept and their experience with it. Some of the favorite precepts are:
- When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.
- Your deeds are your monuments.
- Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.
BHS students have been invited to write their own precepts, and you can find them hanging above the lockers in each of the hallways and on the window outside the front office. Stop by and take a look; they’ll brighten your day. Here are a few:
“Kindness is giving hope to those who think they are all alone in this world.”
“No one has the power to shatter your dreams unless you give it to them.”
“Your kindness could be the thing that saves someone’s life.”
“Be so busy loving your life that you have no time for fear, hate, or regret.”
“Being mean is lame, don’t be lame.”
The Bayfield Education Foundation is so proud to support programs like Be Kind Week. We helped out by paying for half the tickets to “Wonder,” and we hope students remember the movie and its messages for a long time to come.