Anti-bullying assembly shifts toward “To Be Kind” programs


photo by Bailey Fisher

Head of To Be Kind, Inc. Adam Sherman rips up a piece of paper with hurtful words on it as part of his presentation on promoting kindness in schools.

Jeannie Williams, Managing Editor

Like in past anti-bullying weeks, students filed to the auditorium for an annual anti-bullying assembly, but this year the message was different than usual. On Thursday, Jan. 21, Hillsborough County English teacher and head of To Be Kind, Inc. Adam Sherman spoke to students on ways bullying can be prevented as part of anti-bullying week.

To Be Kind, Inc. was started by the 2011 Lake Brantley high school leadership class, under Sherman’s supervision, and promotes random acts of kindness on school campuses, such as putting encouraging notes in lockers. The Seminole County Public School system continues to support the organization within its schools even though Sherman now teaches in the Tampa area.

“Every year that we’ve done anti-bullying week, we’ve always had to have that big event that really makes everyone come together and brings everyone’s attention to the subject at hand,” club sponsor Stephanie Young said.

TBK was selected after multiple recommendations and word of Sherman’s participation in an upcoming anti-bullying summit at UCF.

Sherman accredits the rise in popularity of TBK programs to its easy translation in a classroom setting. The non-profit had done presentations for groups of educators before, but this was the first large-scale, schoolwide assembly.

“It’s nice to know that we can continue to grow and continue to offer different things to different schools,” Sherman said. “Too many anti-bullying programs focus on, ‘What do we do about the bullies?’ It’s already been done. It’s in the past. We try to focus on, ‘How do we prevent it?’”