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Showing kindness makes people feel they belong
March 25, 2024

By James Logan Healthy Eagle reporters | Kindness goes a long way to help people feel like they belong. Healthy Eagle reporters spoke with Mr. Eli Prosper, community school manager, and Ms. Fatima Bakayoko, STEP clinical coordinator, at Logan Elementary school to discuss the effects that kindness can have on students and school climate.

STEP stands for Support Team for Educational Partnership. The team helps students handle their feelings and behaviors. The team also supports teachers and families.

Bullying in schools is “the most commonly reported discipline problems in public schools,” according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Bullying is when a person is “repeatedly mean to someone,” says stopbullying.gov. Bullying can look like “name-calling, pushing, spreading rumors,” says stopbullying.gov.

To help prevent bullying from happening, kids can show kindness to other kids. “Showing kindness can increase feelings of happiness and improve overall wellbeing,” according to doctors at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center.

Mr. Eli and Ms. Fatima spoke with Healthy Eagle reporters to discuss how acts of kindness can help improve climate and reduce bullying. This questions and answers have been lightly edited.

Question: How do you define bullying?
Mr. Eli: Bullying can be a person who makes someone else feel left out or like they don’t belong. It can be when someone is saying or being mean to hurt another person.
Ms. Fatima: Bullying is calling someone mean names. It sounds like name-calling.

Question: How does Logan try to prevent bullying?
Mr. Eli: We have community meetings and town halls. We work on accountability.
Ms. Fatima: We have character traits of the month that show positive behaviors. Adults in the school try to model how to treat other people kindly.

Question: What can students do to prevent bullying?
Mr. Eli: Keep their hands to themselves. Treat others nicely. Make people feel good.
Ms. Fatima: They can speak up and be kind to others. They should say something to an adult if they see a problem.

Question: Can you share an example of kindness that you have experienced recently in your classroom?
Mr. Eli: Mr. Washington, who is the school’s climate manager, gave me a Sixers shirt.
Ms. Fatima: A group of students came up to me and gave me a hug.

Question: How do acts of kindness make other people feel and how do they help the school community?
Mr. Eli: I believe that kindness makes others feel like they belong.
Ms. Fatima: When people come to school, they should feel as though others want them to be here.

Illustration by Tori, eighth grade, The DePaul Catholic School.

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