Liberty’s Kind Club says no to bullying
February 26, 2013
By Christina Corrales-Toy
Liberty High School students Autumn Patten and Jessica Pickering were left fundamentally changed after watching the anti-bullying documentary “Finding Kind” at Issaquah High School last year.
The film explores the “mean girl” phenomenon in schools across the country and shows girls they are not alone should they find themselves feeling bullied or isolated.
“Saying the documentary changed my life, it sounds really cliché, but it’s the only way you can express it,” Pickering said.
Just halfway into the viewing of the film, the friends turned to each other and made the decision to do something about the bullying and negativity that plagues schools. The result was the formation of Liberty High School’s Kind Club.
Every week, a dozen of the group’s members gather to talk about their struggles, their triumphs and everything in between. Each meeting begins with members reciting their highs and lows of the week.
“We want this to be a safe place where anyone can come, whether they have a problem or they just want to help people or be nice,” Pickering said.
The club consists of all girls, although boys are welcome.
“If our goal is to promote kindness, we’re not going to turn anyone away,” Pickering said.
Patten and Pickering, the club’s co-presidents, do not believe there is a pervasive bullying problem at Liberty, but Kind Club is about so much more than fighting that conflict, they said.
“The point of it isn’t to combat bullying necessarily in our school, but it’s to spread awareness of kindness and how the little things can mean so much,” Patten said. “You can walk through the hall and if you smile at someone, it could just change their whole day.”
The club rarely puts events on, because that’s not what it’s about. It has, however, instituted a new gift basket program, choosing random students to award a bag of goodies to, just to brighten his or her day.
“We’re not an event-based club. It’s more about the camaraderie that’s built in our meetings,” Pickering said.
If you go
Liberty High School Kind Club presents ‘Finding Kind’
The club is preparing to host a significant event in March, though, bringing the documentary that started it all to the school.
Kind Club will show an evening viewing of “Finding Kind” in the school’s new performing arts center on March 5.
“Some way, in some aspect, everyone has been bullied in their lifetime,” Patten said. “The documentary is relatable to every single person.”
The entire community is invited to come watch the groundbreaking film, and hopefully learn something about bullying and the value of kindness, Pickering said.
“Not a day goes by that I’m not consciously aware of how I’m treating other people or how what I do affects the people around me, thanks to ‘Finding Kind,’” she said. “It’s a valuable lesson for all people to learn.”