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Students learning to 'be nice'

Krystle Wagner • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:56 AM

Spring Lake High School students are learning the importance of being nice.

On Thursday, staff and students kicked off a “be nice” campaign with the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan. It aims to curb bullying at the school.

“(Bullying) is a way bigger problem than what we want to admit it is,” Spring Lake senior Spencer Proefrock said.

Jennifer Boodt, a high school special-education teacher, said the campaign is to get students to think before they speak or act, because it’s never clear how words or actions might impact someone.

Although Boodt said she thinks they already do a good job of having an environment where kids feel safe, the campaign just takes it further.

“(This is) putting a positive approach on trying to cut down on those negative behaviors,” she said.

Boodt said they hope to expand the campaign throughout the district and community.

Senior Christine Styburski said students filled out a survey with questions such as — have they ever been a victim of bullying and have they ever thought about suicide. Some students commented in the survey that they felt bullied, said Styburski, 17.

“It was really heartbreaking,” she said. “You just wanted to cry reading them.”

Proefrock, 17, said he thinks people get too caught up in worrying about the opinions of others. He said people wouldn’t be so insecure if everyone was nicer.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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