Students spread positivity with loving written messages


Arushi Sharma

BEING THE “I” IN KIND: sophomore Brett Rice poses in front of the kindness poster outside of A hall. The poster features hand-shaped cutouts with encouraging messages on them.

Kate Davis, Dispatch Reporter

Well-loved display celebrates its fourth anniversary

Approaching B Hall, on her way to her life skills class, teacher Brittany Norton hears the first insensitive comment of the day. 

She sees other Bowie students listening. 

She wishes they would say something. 

She wishes they would tell the perpetrator to knock it off. 

She wishes that other students would comfort the person getting hurt. 

She wishes people would BE KIND. 

Four years ago, in 2017, Norton, a Special Education teacher decided to bring the ‘Be the I in KIND’ project to campus after seeing it all over social media, and the response was indisputably positive. 

“We tried it out for one year,” Norton said. “Ever since then they’ve asked us every year to do it again. It’s a great way for people to remember to just be kind, especially in a world with everything going on right now.”

Norton’s students were enthusiastic about the project, excited at the opportunity to tackle any bullying issues they or others may face at school and help inspire others to make a positive change. 

“Our students love to be advocates for each other and they want to make sure their voices are heard,” Norton said. “We talked about how important kindness is and how just a small act of kindness can go a long way for everyone.”

The project includes a large poster, located outside of A hall, filled with student hand prints, and a spot for people to take photos. Norton conveyed her hope that the project encourages everyone to continue to be compassionate towards other students and themselves. 

“I hope that it gives people the courage to stand up and speak for themselves if they are being bullied,” Norton said. “And I hope that anybody who may be bullying themselves, it’s a friendly reminder to just be kind.”

Norton stressed the importance of positivity for the future, and urged young people to join the fight for kindness. 

“This affects us now and the future. We’re all about trends so why not be the positive trend,” Norton said. “Why not have a positive future and bright future for everyone rather than continuing to make it a negative environment.”

Aside from the positivity that can come from this initiative, being kind can have positive health impacts as well. According to Dr. David R. Hamilton, acts of kindness create emotional warmth, which releases a hormone known as oxytocin. This hormone reduces blood pressure by dilating the blood vessels. 

“The hands that are put on there are such a wonderful reminder of all the positivity that does exist,” senior Natalie Munoz said. “You never know if you need that other reminder.”

Norton explained how any students or faculty can contribute to the project by taking a picture in front of the poster and post it with the hashtag #BowieKind. She emphasizes the hope to spread awareness and put it over different social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and Tik Tok. 

“I really love the idea of the Bowie KIND initiative because it spreads kindness throughout campus, which is something that we all need,” senior Zoya Faisal said. “Especially through everything that’s going on in this world, it’s so important to spread love and kindness to everyone because you never know what the other person is going through. I’m excited to see the posts on the hashtag.”

Norton emphasized that there are other ways for young individuals and adults to address injustices in their schools and neighborhoods, all starting with one person. 

“Once one person speaks up it’s like a domino effect,” Norton said. “I’m hoping that if one person has the courage to put an end to all the injustice that’s happening, then more people will want to help as well.”

Norton wants this project, just like the past four years, continues to impact students and faculty in a positive way, encouraging kindness and respect among the community. 

“I hope that it helps, even if it’s just one person,” Norton said. “If people haven’t already, I would definitely say please go look at all the hard work they put in.”