“Kindness costs very little and pays huge dividends.” Those words spoken by Millard Public Schools Superintendent Jim Sutfin resonated with a large crowd of educators, civic leaders, and students at a ceremony proclaiming August 24th as #BeKind Day.

The campaign builds on the efforts of Ralston Superintendent Mark Adler and his wife, Joni, who have used the Be Kind theme to emphasize the importance of kindness since losing their son, Reid, to suicide in 2016.

“We must be intentional in our work so we can build up and protect every person in our schools, our city, and our state,” Adler said.

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert read the proclamation before asking everyone at the ceremony to sign.  Her message was simple. “If you can be only one thing today, be kind.”

The event came on the same week that leaders of several education agencies united at the Capitol to sign a Statement of Principle for Human Dignity.

Commissioner Matthew Blomstedt, who also signed the #BeKind proclamation, led the Capitol event by calling on people to respect human dignity and put an end to bullying and discrimination in schools and at athletic events.

The official statement is clear, “conduct by any person that does not show respect for and courtesy to other persons in Nebraska schools and any school activity is prohibited and shall not be tolerated — period.”

The Statement of Principle and #BeKind Day hope to make every school across the state a welcoming place for all students.

Throughout the school year students will lead the charge for #BeKind with different events inside schools and at public events.

Learn more about the Statement of Principle for Human Dignity and the #BeKind Proclamation.