Sixth-grader says #BeNicer, even to bullies

July 18, 2019 08:44 AM

SCOTTSVILLE, N.Y. (WHEC) — All week, News10NBC has been asking you to join the #BeNicer campaign to fight cyberbullying. 

It's simple—defend your beliefs but just be nicer with what you post online.


Before school let out last month, we visited T.J. Connor Elementary School in the Wheatland-Chili School District.

We spoke with Leanna, who is now in the sixth grade. She tries to be nicer every day.

"I try to include someone if they don't have a friend, to help others feel good and that makes me feel good," she said.

It's a message taught by her parents and at school.

"#BeNicer fits right into everything we do every day," principal Dr. Dan Murray said. He has implemented a Second Step curriculum at the school.

"It helps kids deal with situational awareness on how to handle things, how to be assertive and not aggressive," Murray said.

Students are taught to do that both in real life and online where bullying has hit fever pitch.

"Research is not saying that bullying causes suicide, but we do know there is a strong link between the two, so this is pretty serious," said Cassandra Berbary, a licensed psychologist with Rochester Regional Health.

Which is why News10NBC launched the #BeNicer campaign.

"I think a campaign like this is great," Murray said. "We can continue to remind kids that the most important thing is to be kind and nice and respectful to other people."

Respectful, as Leanna reminded us, even to the bullies themselves. 

"If they are bullying someone, maybe something is going on in their life that makes them bully other people," she said. "Maybe you could help them get over that and be nice."

T.J. Connor Elementary School joins several other organizations and members of the community who are taking part in the #BeNicer initiative.

Click here to learn how you can get involved in #BeNicer. You can also support the campaign by buying a #BeNicer t-shirt.

All proceeds from #BeNicer t-shirts benefit Rochester's Do the Right Thing program


Pat Taney

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