Kindra L. Smith, Ed.S | Principal | Elkins Point Middle School
About a month ago, I was making my rounds throughout the 8th grade hall and when I passed by one classroom, there was a Student sitting at the table, eating her lunch, crying. I stepped in the room and asked her if everything was ok and this is what she shared with all of the fire inside of her and tears flying everywhere:
“Ms. Smith I am so upset right now! I am so upset because there was a bunch of guys who were making fun of a girl’s shoes in our last class. They were pointing, taking pictures, laughing and not giving a care about how she was feeling. She was so embarrassed by her shoes.” What if that’s all she had?! What if that’s all her parents could afford!? Do they think that she doesn’t see how bad they look? Why would they do that to her? I got mad Ms. Smith and I went up to those boys and I told them to “Leave her alone!” I said, “You don’t know her, you don’t know her situation and you all should be ashamed of yourself! You don’t give a care about how she feels just as long as you get a big laugh and that’s wrong!” How dare you all talk about her like this when I give all of you my snacks on most days because you don’t have one to bring!
I then asked her, “So Student, what happened next? She said, “Ms. Smith. It was so amazing.”
The guy who was leading the attack said…. “Student, you’re right. It’s wrong and I feel terrible. I’ll find her and apologize” Student said she later found the girl to see if he actually did apologize and she said he had. I asked Student if she remembered the Be THE Voice Campaign that we launched at the beginning of the year. She said she did. I told her that her actions were a shining example of what the true mission of Be THE Voice is all about. She was so proud of herself, not only for preserving someone’s self-esteem, but she taught another student the importance of treating everyone with respect.
Libby Swinson, M.Ed | Counselor | The Cottage School
First of all, thank you so much for providing us with the Be THE Voice campaign and resources. It was an amazing program that was embraced by all of our students from grade 6-12. I hope you find our testimonials form The Cottage School helpful for your online project.
One of our classes produced a video to get people talking about bullying and the effects it has on students. It was introduced prior to the first BTV video, so that it would present a glimpse into the Be THE Voice campaign, so that students wanted to know more about the program.
From the start of Be THE Voice until after its completion, students have become more aware of their and other’s behavior and what is appropriate and when to speak up. I have numerous students daily still using the terminology Be THE Voice when discussing behavior they have seen that may be considered bullying. I think it has been a great way to make them more aware and build their confidence, resulting in less bystanders and more students speaking up and standing up for each other!
Our students felt very strongly about the Be THE Voice campaign and the message it was sending to students: be an advocate for your peers. Some comments from our students about the program were:
- Speak up for those that can’t or are too afraid
- Stand together and we can solve the problem of bullying
- Be THE Voice gave us a platform for change
Mrs. Angelique-Hayes | Teacher | Crabapple Middle School
This effort has had a very positive effect on our student body at CMS. Students within the Interact Club were glad to take the reins and lead, speak and introduce the efforts and videos for Be THE Voice. Our administration, counselors and teachers all appreciated the professional and engaging interviews with celebrities that were available to choose from and share with our students. Many worthwhile conversations were started as we used Be THE Voice as part of our character education portion of homeroom during fall semester. I am confident that the Be THE Voice campaign is making a difference in the lives of some of our middle school students as their fellow students choose to step up and Be THE Voice that stops bullying.
Ms. Christine Anderson | Teacher | Hembree Springs ES
Hembree Hawks are fully engaged in the “Be THE Voice” Campaign. Our Interact Club has led the way by displaying colorful posters to correspond with daily videos that are shown on our Hawk’s Talk morning announcement show! Conversations about bullying are more common during class discussions and even throughout the halls and lunchroom. This campaign has provided awareness of bullying situations for all students. More importantly, students are now equipped with a way to stand up for their peers. The catchy hand signal is popular and understood by students at all grades.
This has been a fun project and we look forward to continuing this message next year.
Stacy Perlman | Principal | Mountain Park Elementary
The 4th and 5th grade students at Mountain Park Elementary have enjoyed the Be THE Voice Campaign this year. The videos sparked high level and thoughtful conversations among students and teachers. We were able to use the peer nominations from Be the Voice to identify two outstanding students for a special friendship award. We look forward to being a part of Be the Voice again next year and treating our peers with respect and kindness.