Kindness Counts

From Issue 6, Published March 13, 2015

Kindness Counts: New club set to create role models in high school girls

Bullying has always been an issue at PHS, especially among girls, whether the students want to admit it or not. A few staff members are striving to eliminate bullying among high school girls. Assistant Principal Amanda Crews, Guidance Counselor Brandi Kerley and resource teacher Jessica Matheny have created an organization called the Be Kind Club to do just that.
“The Kind Club was created to address the often cruel way in which females treat each other, the detrimental effects those relationships and experiences can have on girl’s self-esteem, and personal growth,” said Matheny.
The club idea came from a documentary called The Kind Campaign.
“It is based on a documentary that was filmed by Lauren Paul (wife of Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad) and Molly Thompson. “The two girls went on a nationwide tour with their mothers asking random people about their perception of what they call ‘girl-against-girl crime’,” said Crews.
At Paoli, the staff in charge are starting simple.
“So far, we have met with sophomore and junior girls to introduce the club. At this point, parental consent forms are being collected for female students who wish to be involved,” said Matheny.
The club is currently only open to juniors and sophomores.
“Right now it is only open to sophomore and junior girls because we want to get a good base of ambassadors who can be role models and leaders for the rest of our school,” said Crews.
The group has had one meeting so far this year.
“I believe we will try to meet once or twice a month for the rest of this year and continue with it into next year,” said Matheny.
Much of the mission of the club is still in the works.
“We don’t have an official written mission, but I can tell you that I want to change the environment at PHS to be one where it is abnormal for students to tear each other down, we should be lifting others up,” said Crews. “It’s going to take a movement for that to happen.”
Although they do not have a written mission, they are sure of what they would like to change.
“It is evident that we have many female students who have fallen into the trap of believing that every female is your enemy unless they are your best friend. I want to overcome that perception,” said Crews.
In order to overcome these things, during meetings they will have girl time and address some of the issues they see occurring among their classmates.
“Ms. Kerley and I hope to involve them in conflict resolution once the training has occurred. It would be great to have our older girls mentor our younger girls through conflict resolution and problem solving. I think that is the ultimate goal,” said Crews.

Story by KC Warren