Northside is holding its seventh annual Declaration of Respect Signing Day on Friday, October 12, with students and staff across the District signing certificates pledging to demonstrate respect for themselves and all others through their interactions at school.
A brand new club at Stevenson Middle School, the Start With Hello Club, has been working on activities and reminders that emphasize the importance of kindness and respect.
During a recent day of lunches in the cafeteria, club members asked their fellow students to write examples of Random Acts of Kindness that were then used to form a giant chain. The number of responses, which included simple gestures like smiling and giving compliments, surprised club members.
“Treat everyone with respect, that’s how life should be,” said seventh grader Amia Nauls. “This club shows everyone that we care.”
On a Monday morning, club members stood outside welcoming students into school with signs. Other school organizations and teams have been challenged to do the same in the coming weeks.
“Sometimes people don’t feel wanted but we can do that here at school,” said seventh grader Kiersten Curiel who considers herself shy. “I’ve gotten more confident than I was before, talking to people and getting out of my comfort zone.”
Counselor Jill Lewis says the club can play an important role in setting the tone for the campus, helping start conversations that encourage students to connect with each other.
“Together we can make a difference,” Lewis said. “We want students coming to school with smiles on their faces, happy to be here. Start With Hello Club can model good behavior and remind students they have a voice.”
October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month and Respect Signing Day is a reminder to the community that the District is committed to providing students and staff a safe and respectful environment.
“We take bullying very seriously in Northside ISD,” said Superintendent Dr. Woods, who signed a similar pledge with all seven Board members. “This District-wide effort, of students and staff members from kindergarten through 12th grade, is our attempt to make everyone aware of the seriousness of bullying, and the life altering damage that can occur.”
NISD has implemented many programs to address the needs of students, including classroom guidance lessons delivered by school counselors, anti-bullying classroom presentations, campus-wide initiatives such as the “No Bully Zone, Project ABC (antibullying communities) at the secondary level, and community involvement activities.
At the District level, the phone and texting Safeline program (210-397-SAFE and email@example.com) offers a safe and anonymous way for students, parents, and the community to report potential incidents.
Safeline is a longtime NISD program that also helps address cyberbullying requirements outlined in Texas Senate Bill 179, also called David’s Law, which went into effect last fall.