As part of national bullying prevention month, Laguna Beach schools hosted character-building programs in October that encouraged students to be kind and exhibit good character.
At the two elementary schools, lunchtime activities featured guest speakers who reinforced ways kindness and respect can be extended to individuals, the environment and the world.
Top of the World students signed the Rachel’s Challenge banner, comprised of student pledges to be kind to all students at their school.
El Morro alumna and professional surfer James Pribram described the importance of respect for self and the earth.
At Thurston Middle School, community service programs that highlight the importance of good character included new-student luncheons and Asst. Principal Mike Modeer’s presentation, “More Than a Bystander,” to PE classes.
At Laguna Beach High School, student leaders sponsored a kindness campaign, producing two videos that captured “standup” behaviors when encountering bullying, as well as distributing kindness cards to encourage students to send a note of praise or apology to peers.
“Although every event has not impacted every student, I have been amazed by the students I have seen go out of their way to reach out to each other and lend support,” said LBHS special education and peer leadership teacher Melinda Hawkins. “We have many heroes among us that go unnoticed unless you are really watching for their acts of genuine kindness. LBHS is a great place to be! I encourage all my students to go out of their comfort zones and connect to those around us who might be feeling lost.”