October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and it is a great time to remind our children that kindness matters. Working in a middle school, that message sometimes gets lost. As much as we try to drive the message home that our students need to be kind to each other, there is something in the early adolescent brain that says, "not today.” Maybe it is the surge of hormones, maybe it is social pressure, or maybe it is that they don't always like themselves at this age. It certainly doesn't help that they are hard-wired to notice the differences that are occurring in each other at this time. Call it biology. The good news is that in spite of their bad reputation, the overwhelming majority of our middle school students are really nice, polite, kind, great kids. The very slim fraction of kids who are not, however, seem like an army if you are their target.
At Shelton Intermediate School, we are working hard to make sure that students strive to be their best selves this year with our "Be the Nice Kid" theme. This theme is rooted in a national movement started by Golf Pro and motivational speaker Bryan Skavnak. The heart of this movement is that it matters how you treat people. We kicked off the year with a "Be the Nice Kid" poster contest which inspired dozens of great posters, which we will display around the school.