OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - After the superintendent of Ralston Schools lost his son to suicide, he wanted to do something positive out of such terrible pain and loss. As the new school year approaches, he's leading a trend called be kind.
"I didn't know where it would go, but I knew it's hard to argue being kind to each other," Dr. Mark Adler, superintendent, Ralston Public Schools.
After pushing #BeKind in Ralston schools, Dr. Mark Adler was approached by Millard superintendent Jim Sutfin about adopting it. Adler said of course and Sutfin, along with the rest of the metro schools ran with it.
"It has caught on like wildfire and it's all across our city, it's in every school district in our metropolitan area, including Council Bluffs," says Jim Sutfin, superintendent, Millard Public Schools.
The metro schools are emphasizing the hashtag with their teachers and eventually students, in hopes they live by the simple message.
"How often do we tell kids, don't bully, don't be mean to someone, don't pick on your sister? Instead, let's come at it from a positive angle, of let’s be kind," says Sutfin.
School districts have put the phrase on t-shirts and at Westside, they're made and designed by the students.
"It's kind of bringing the schools together in a way, because they all share this one message and then everyone knows about it and it can spread to Omaha itself," says Jordan Bowen, student at Westside.
Westside is not stopping there, they also encourage students and staff to write cards to people who they feel need a pick me up.
"Something very simple, but sometimes that's all you need when you're having a rough day is just that word of encouragement from someone else that you're doing a great job," Brandi Paul, Westside Communications Director.
While each school has their own way of participating, they'll all join together on August 24th for #BeKind day.
"It has to be what fits, the thing I like about it is there is no prescribed you must do this or that, do what you want, grow it as big or as little as you want," Adler.
Currently 35 school districts are using the hashtag in some form. Adler would like to see that number to keep rising.
"I do hope it grows. I know there are places across Nebraska that would like to be a part of this," says Adler.