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(August 29, 2018)

#Bekind.

A simple message spreading across Omaha and social media.

“#Bekind is about our great communities and how we treat each other,” said Millard Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jim Sutfin. “We spend a lot of time saying don’t bully, don’t pick on other people, don’t post negative comments on social media. Today, we want to change the conversation from don’t to do!”  

Ralston Public Schools Superintendent Mr. Mark Adler and his wife Joni inspired #Bekind. Two years ago, their son Reid took his life after being bullied and harassed on social media.  Adler believes a little kindness would have made a big difference to their son.

“Kindness isn’t new. We’ve had this forever. But, it doesn’t take anything, the input is so small. The investment is so small.  The dividends will pay forever,” said Adler.

Dr. Sutfin calls his friend, “the heart of #bekind”, “Kindness can be just about anything, but it is always intentional. It is about letting our actions speak louder than our words.”

The superintendents pitched the idea of a citywide #Bekind day to Mayor Jean Stothert.

“When Dr. Adler and Dr. Sutfin asked me to support #Bekind, it took me about five seconds to say yes,” said Mayor Stothert. “Mark and Joni Adler have experienced a very personal loss. Their decision to make their private life so public, shows us all how we can impact others.  I can’t think of a more important message.”

On August 24th, mayors, superintendents, educators, law enforcement, first responders, and students representing Omaha and surrounding communities signed a proclamation designating August 24thand #Bekind Day.

“If you can only be one thing today, be kind,” said Mayor Stothert.  “It's not one day, it's every day, it's not some of us, it's all of us!”

           PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS,   In our instant world, it’s far more common to complain, to criticize, to rush to judgement and to embarrass others, than it is to be kind, and

WHEREAS,    We need leaders of every age, to know the right thing to do. It just takes someone to  rise to the occasion when they see a need. The Superintendents of the Millard and Ralston School Districts saw the need, and developed the simple yet important message, #Bekind, and

WHEREAS,    The Omaha metropolitan area is a kind and compassionate community and frequently named one of the friendliest communities in the country. We value kindness, respect, trust, tolerance and acceptance, and

WHEREAS,      A stronger, healthier community free of bullying and harassment that embraces diversity at all levels is achievable, if we all commit to #Bekind, and,

WHEREAS,    We can all take action to #Bekind, in big ways and small, to make a difference in our city, our schools, our neighborhoods and families, and   

WHEREAS,    Metropolitan mayors, our law enforcement professionals and first responders support the #Bekind campaign and encourage everyone to  embrace the message and look for opportunities to share acts of kindness.

Now Therefore,    I Jean Stothert, along with the Mayors of the  metropolitan area, do hereby proclaim August 24, 2018 as #Bekind Day

In Witness Whereof, I have set my hand and caused the official seal of the City of Omaha to be affixed this 24th Day of August, Two Thousand and Eighteen.

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