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#BPScares: Using social media to counteract violence with compassion

In response to recent incidents of tragic gun violence — including the death of a Boston Public Schools (BPS) high school student and the terrible massacre in an Orlando, Florida, nightclub — BPS is challenging our school community to use social media to counteract hatred and violence with love and compassion.

Over the next several days, we ask that you perform an act of kindness at school or in your community — it could be giving a classmate a high-five after a game; mentoring a student; helping a student with homework or a class project; or doing volunteer work — and tweet about it with a photo to @bostonschools using the hashtag #BPScares.

Additionally, we ask that each school hold a moment of silence for the victims of these two shootings, as well as all victims of violence.

These acts of gun violence, whether carried out at home or afar, as a street shooting or mass killing, must never become accepted as normal or routine in our children’s minds – no matter how frequently they occur.

As educators, parents, and students, we must instead make it our mission to normalize acts of kindness and caring, whether big or small. Deeds such as the generous parting gift that Boston Latin School senior Phillip Sossou recently gave to each of his 400 classmates – his hand-drawn charcoal sketches that he hung in the hallways of his school – are the very acts that we should celebrate. It is up to us to demonstrate to our students the power of positive behavior. It is also critical that we reinforce to our youth the message that gun violence should never be viewed as normal in our society.

 

Boston Public Schools has numerous support services available for anyone affected directly or indirectly by violence or trauma. Students and staff are encouraged to speak with school leaders about supports available at their schools.