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Parkland shooting anniversary: '17 Acts of Kindness' for 17 lives lost

Posted at 7:29 PM, Jan 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-30 13:18:44-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — As we approach one year since 17 lives were lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the Palm Beach County School District plans to show its support by turning tragedy into celebrating love and friendship.

February 14, 2018 was a day filled with hatred and evil, but a year later the Palm Beach County School District is promoting kindness leading up to what was a dark day.

“The children need to understand that kindness can resolve issues that turn into tragedies like Stoneman Douglas,” said Frank Barbieri, District 5 board chairman.

Starting Jan. 29, the school district is launching a campaign called, ‘17 Acts of Kindness.’ From eating lunch with someone you don’t know to help someone with a chore or task, the simple suggestions are for students to show sympathy and compassion.

To see the 17 Acts of Kindness, click here.

“By doing acts of kindness we’re able to really strengthen kid’s empathy muscles to be able to really feel for the other person,” said Keith Oswald, deputy superintendent.

Other ideas and thanking a police officer in person, sending a card or note of support to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and volunteering at a place of worship or food bank.

“On January 31st, we’re asking the students to send Valentine’s Day cards to a local nursing home,” Barbieri said.

Each act of kindness leads up to Valentine’s Day to honor the 17 people who lost their lives in the Parkland shooting.

“I think that’s what we want the children to understand that kindness can make a huge difference in their lives and the lives of everyone else,” Barbieri said.

A crape myrtle tree will also be planted on the campus of each high school in the district and at district headquarters to remember the innocent victims.