Be the Kind Kid: Highschool Edition

We’ve all seen the t-shirts and slogans, but we wonder: HOW do we become the “kind” kids, especially with all of the challenges we face as high schoolers?

We see the logo and the hashtag everywhere, but what does it really mean?

Marissa Granite

We see the logo and the hashtag everywhere, but what does it really mean?

We all see the shirts that say #bethekindkid. The post-it note stickers on bathroom mirrors.  The national media attention. 

And it’s all great. Seriously.

Since Maureen Frew, an elementary teacher at Avonworth School District, popularized the phrase and began the movement, many kids from around the region have adopted the slogan into their everyday lives, trying to do things like eradicating bullying and not letting anyone sit alone at lunch. 

And these are very noble and needed movements. 

I believe when students or staff see these t-shirts each week, they are determined to be kind to the people they interact with on a daily basis”

— Mr. Sabo

But, I would argue, as a highschooler in 2019, the #bethekindkid movement could use a bit exploring. A bit more definition of what a “kind kid” is at North Allegheny. So what is being the kind kid?

The phrase “#bethekindkid” is posted everywhere. Teachers, students, and other staff are even wearing shirts about it. But do we truly know what being kind to others looks like? 

According to Mr. Sabo, a teacher at Marshall Middle School, “students and staff were encouraged to purchase and wear the Be the Kind Kid t-shirts every Wednesday in order to promote kindness within the building”. Dr. Scherrer then reached out to Mr. Sabo and asked to branch out the shirts to the entire district. Mr. Sabo explained, “I believe when students or staff see these t-shirts each week, they are determined to be kind to the people they interact with on a daily basis”. 

The t-shirts are a tangible way to promote kindness within all of North Allegheny.

At NAI, Kindness is important. Emily Gierczynski, a sophomore student, said, “Being the kind kid for me means promoting small acts of kindness and treating others the way you want to be treated.”

Similarly, kindness to Quinn Volpe, a sophomore student as well, means, “being nice to people even behind their back”. 

We all know what kindness is but I believe it is deeper than just a few phrases.

It’s much different from when we were younger and completely different from all the young kids today. It looks different in many ways all because of our peers.

The times have changed for us. All we think about is that our AP and honors classes that are really difficult or what he/she is going to comment on our recent instagram post.

It’s much different from when we were younger and completely different to all the young kids today.”

Sure, a simple genuine compliment can really make someone’s day but does it end there? For high school students, kindness is being respectful to everyone even if their choices and opinions are different than yours. 

Furthermore, #beingthekindkid, if we think about it as a verb — a person full of action — and not a stagnant noun, we can begin to fully recognize what it means to truly be kind.  To me, it means actually seeing someone for who they are.  Knowing that what we know of others is extremely limited and many people are dealing with circumstance much past what they show us during school hours.  That WE have students going to this school who don’t know where their next meal is coming from.  Yes, there are kids going this school who have been demonized because of their race or immigration status.  There are kids dealing with mental health, family problems, all of these things that we may not necessarily realize.

And that’s only at NAI. What about other schools in the Pittsburgh area? What about kids all throughout the U.S? All over the world? We have to be the kind kid not only to students at NAI but to people all over the world. That’s the true meaning of being kind to others. We have to spread kindness everywhere-not just at our own school.

High school kindness looks a lot different than it did back when we were all kids. But it’s important that we take time to realize that kindness is a process not only relevant at NAI but it’s necessary and important all over the world.

That’s #bethekindkid, the highschool way.