Buckland Mills Elementary School students painting benches outdoors

Peers can be a powerful influence in a child’s life. At Buckland Mills Elementary School, Kalene Scott, the school’s counselor, knows that this influence can be used for very positive results. That’s why she began enlisting students at the school as representatives for the No Place for Hate initiative.

“We decided to select student representatives for No Place for Hate so that students could use their leadership, creativity skills, and strong passion for kindness and inclusivity to promote meaningful activities in our school.”

The No Place for Hate initiative is a schoolwide commitment to inclusion, anti-bias, and anti-bullying efforts.

“It is important to become a No Place for Hate School because it promotes a positive and inclusive climate and culture between all students, staff, and the community,” said Scott. “The impact of the student representatives for the No Place for Hate initiative is the other students look up to them as role models, listen to them and their ideas, and model their respectful and positive behavior.”

Fourth grade student Roman Simmons was selected as a No Place for Hate student representative this year. He shared that it’s fun to work with other students on kindness projects for the school.

“I worked on the buddy bench painting because it was fun creating something for the whole school to use.”

The buddy bench promotes empathy and kindness by allowing students who are feeling isolated or lonely to sit on the bench during recess to indicate they need a friend or buddy to play with them.

“At Buckland Mills, we hope the students take the lessons, qualities, and expectations that they learned from No Place for Hate with them as they grow up and become adults,” Scott said. “We hope that they use their kindness to constantly spread positivity and always be someone who includes others and respects everyone,” she added, also stating, “We hope that No Place for Hate has encouraged them to be the best that they can be!”