GRAHAM, NC – A student at Graham Middle School is being credited for creating the school’s unique new anti-bullying campaign.
Sixth grader Joslyn Rivers wrote a book entitled “You Are” to help a friend who was being bullied feel better.
Every page starts with the words "You Are" and highlights all the great things about that student.
The book did more than just help her friend feel better that day.
It inspired her classmates and teachers who passed it on to the principal of the school!
Principal Lee Williams says he’s not an emotional man but when he read Joslyn’s book, he teared up.
“To me, it was just an idea like we've been talking about all year,” said Williams. “Changing the mindset from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. She embodies that. I was extremely proud and excited about it.”
Williams was so moved by the positive message of the book, he decided to make it the official anti-bullying slogan at Graham Middle School!
All week, teachers and students have been chanting “You Are,” at each other!
The hallways are covered in posters that read “UR.”
Teachers have T-shirts with “UR” written across the chest!
“I always tell the kids to be innovative and think outside the box. She did,” said Williams.
On Friday, Joslyn was honored in front of the whole school.
“You have no idea how huge this is to have someone who stands up for a classmate,” said Williams to Joslyn as they stood side by side on stage in the school’s auditorium.
With tears in his eyes, Joslyn’s dad, Rodney, presented his daughter with a bouquet of roses.
He says he was the proudest man in the room.
“She is so much better than I ever thought I could be,” said Rivers. “She makes me want to be a better person.”
But Joslyn isn't satisfied with inspiring her entire school.
She wants the message of her book to keep spreading and inspire kids and adults everywhere.
“If you want to help somebody just do it! Nobody is stopping you. If there is anybody trying to stop you, just ignore them. Do what you do,” said Joslyn. “We don’t have to bully one another. We don’t have to pick on each other. We are all equal.”
Starting Friday, leaders at Graham Middle School are challenging their students to do the "U R" challenge.
The school has developed a smartphone app where kids can send each other a "shout-out."
Principal Williams asked the students to send each other a nice message starting with the words "You Are.”
Then, Williams says the school will display the messages on the screen in the cafeteria for everyone to read.
(© 2016 WFMY)