November is BE NICE Month in Williamson County

From WCS inFocus

Jason and Rogers BE NICE
Photo from WCS

BE NICE, Williamson County. That’s the message being shared throughout Williamson County Schools, the Franklin Special School District and Williamson County after County Mayor Rogers Anderson proclaimed November at BE NICE Month at the November 8 Williamson County Commission Meeting.

While the BE NICE movement began during the 2013-14 school year, the school districts united to bring the message back to front and center.

“BE NICE arose out of one of our principal’s experiences,” said WCS Superintendent Jason Golden. “While we have been distracted from that message over the past few years, our leaders wanted to make sure we brought it back to the forefront of our thoughts and actions. We encourage the entire Williamson County community to help us spread the message in words and deeds and to simply, BE NICE.”

With that in mind, students from schools across the district have a message to share in the video below.

The BE NICE movement first began in 2013. After a negative interaction with an airport employee, WCS Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Schools Dr. Juli Oyer, then principal of Fairview High, returned to Fairview and had a meeting with the student council. As the group discussed an increase in social media bullying and strife, Oyer shared her story. The students took the idea and ran with it.

“Their perspective was to keep it simple and repeat that message as often as possible,” Oyer said. “The message is to just BE NICE. Treat others how you want to be treated.”

The Fairview High media department created a Public Service Announcement that year to help spread the message. According to Oyer, the BE NICE campaign allowed students to confront bullying in a new way and produced a change in behavior. It also promoted positivity.

“Students would just say ‘be nice,'” she said. “It allowed them to confront the behavior without a gigantic crusade or massive confrontation. That was wonderful to watch happen.”

With the help of BE NICE student ambassadors, the message spread across Williamson County and beyond. Now, school communities find ways to share the message throughout the year.

“There was so much power in the students leading this and watching it become their own,” Oyer said. “It led to many invaluable conversations and shifted our culture in a wonderful way.”