By: Cierra Putman
ALPINE - School hallways are places to catch up with friends, and unfortunately for some, fight off bullies.
"It's just a domino effect," Zana Moore, a counselor at Alpine Middle School, said. "They're being bullied by someone else, they in turn become a bully."
Moore hopes the Kindness Coalition will make the hallways safe for all students.
"I wanted to actively deal with it before became a problem," Moore said. "And reward kindness instead of punishing bad behavior."
Since the Coalition's creation a few weeks ago, Moore has already seen a change.
"I used to be a big bully," Agee Moliner, with the Kindness Coalition, said. "I'm going to say the truth and I've changed my ways of being mean to people."
Students like Agee have to complete good deeds and complete a training to join the Coalition. They learn to combat bullying, become leaders and perpetuate acts of kindness. Acts that are publicly acknowledged.
Students write their good deeds on slips of paper and link them with other good deeds performed by classmates. When there's enough linked up,they're put in the cafeteria for everyone to see.
Turns out being kind is contagious.
"A student dropped his journal and I helped him pick it up and I saw him the next day help somebody else," Ethan Whitehead, with the Kindness Coalition, said.
As more students join the Coalition, Moore hopes more students will think before they act.
"Hopefully it educates them in the fact that bullying is not necessary. That they can exist with their classmates without being the bully and people can respect you for being kind," Moore said.
Moore hopes as the coalition grows, they'll weaken the links in the cycle of bullying.