Johnston Community School District urges kindness in new campaign

Students, parents, teachers, city, police join forces in a show of kindness 

JOHNSTON, IA (March 8, 2022) – The power of kindness is awe-inspiring. It can make someone’s day; it can even save a life. Years from now, people may not remember specifically what you said or did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.

Unfortunately, we have all been in situations where we have been treated unkindly and know the bitter sting it can leave. Unkindness occurs in many environments, including our school district. In fact, time is spent each day working through situations where people have acted unkindly toward others, which takes away from our dedicated learning time.

Be Kind Campaign PosterIn an effort to counter this trend, the Johnston Community School District is leading a new campaign urging everyone to be kind. Join us over the next 12 weeks as we talk with people throughout our community on why it’s so important to be kind and how detrimental it can be when we aren’t. Then, see the efforts of our students, parents, teachers and others as we work to spread kindness.

“You really never know what someone’s going through and when you’re not kind to them, they could pick apart every single thing you say that is not nice and just think about that for the rest of the day,” said Sidney Peterson, a student who’s president of Best Buddies at Johnston Middle School.

Johnston Police Officer Steck, a school resource officer in the Johnston schools, said he’s seen unkindness and bullying grow on social media.

“Bullying someone on social media can affect someone’s mental health and can ruin relationships,” Steck said. “If you decide that you’re going to be a bully on social media, you could face consequences. Those consequences could be at home with your parents, there could be consequences at school or there could be consequences with me.”

Johnston’s “Be Kind Campaign” aims to show the power of kindness — or perhaps to disagree without being disagreeable — is in line with the district’s vision of creating a culture of excellence where students come first. It also aligns with our mission of committing all district resources to guide the learning of all students to graduate as confident learners with character, knowledge and skills to excel in any endeavor they pursue.

Partnering and supporting the district in this campaign are the City of Johnston, Johnston police, Best Buddies at JMS, Summit Student Lighthouse Team, Voices of Change, the JHS boys varsity basketball team, Johnston parents, the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, JHS Student Council, JHS entrepreneurship students, Timber Ridge Adult Lighthouse Team, the Johnston Early Learning Academy, Wallace and Summit PTO, the Johnston Blaze Swim Club, Kids Connection (KTC) and others.

“I think kindness affects my life and your life,” said Summit Middle School student Neema Katembo, a member of the group Voices of Change. “It doesn’t matter what race you are, where you’re from, how you look like or which religion you’re in, it just matters what’s in your heart.”