VACAVILLE (CBS13) – An effort is underway at a local high school to ease election tensions on campus.
“Trying to send the message that kindness is better than hate,” said Mackenzie Howard who is a youth leader and senior this year at Will C. Wood High.
Students and staff are rolling out “Kindness Week” months early. The annual event is usually in February, but school officials felt it would be beneficial now.
“Regardless of what’s going on in this world, they have as much power to do wonderful things to do acts of compassion, acts of kindness that can really uplift us all and remind us of what’s really important,” said Principal Adam Rich.
Even though most can’t vote, Howard said there’s still political divisiveness among classmates.
“I know the day after the election there were people on campus crying and there were also people celebrating,” she said.
So students are reaching out to others on this diverse campus of more than 1600 kids with the slogan “Dude be nice!” along with a series of posters to help ease tensions.
“Changing that focus from the election and other people’s beliefs to this kindness has made a positive impact on this campus not only people being kind to one another, but also that acceptance,” said Sadie Cunning, youth leader and senior this year.
Principal Rich said there haven’t been any serious incidents so far, but someone did post these flyers that were meant to be welcoming to the schools various ethnic groups, but they were removed because they had not received district approval.
“We believe that their sentiment was to be supportive and to send a message of positivity to students who might feel marginalized right now,” he said.
Students are hoping a little act of kindness will have a lasting impact.
“Ultimately I don’t know if Kindness Week is going to help or not going to help, but we’re kind of praying that Kindness Week will help,” Howard said.
On Friday, nationally recognized youth speaker Mike Smith will join the high schoolers and staff for an uplifting message.