Kindness Wall brings Positivity to Hard School Days


Abigail Wilson

As students pass in the hallway, they are open to the kind words displayed on the TV written by other students.

When teenagers refer to their days in high school, they often cast their experiences in a negative light. They usually say something along the lines of: “That place really killed my vibe,” or that everything feels negative because of the hyperfocus on their education.  However, with the help of a new tool known as the “Kindness Wall,” high school principal Mrs. Beth Guarriello hopes to change all that.

During the transition back to in-person schooling, Mrs. Guarriello came across an email advertising a website for a computer program known as “the Kindness Wall.” The Wall was created by a school in Georgia that had experienced a number of suicides, and was made in order to spread positivity during the hard times the school was going through. The high school administration decided to install the Kindness Wall in August, just in time for the beginning of the school year.

The Kindness Wall is a private digital board that acts as a place for students or staff to submit positive thoughts or messages in the form of notes. The Wall is displayed throughout the school on a series of television or computer screens in common areas, such as the cafeteria or in the hallways. Teachers can also display the Kindness Wall in their classrooms through the student news channel WSOL. The primary purpose of the wall is to spread positivity throughout the school.

 “It’s not us pushing out positive messages from the adults, it’s the students submitting positive messages. It’s the students’ messages to each other,” Mrs. Guarriello said. 

The Kindness Wall has been widely accepted by the high school community as an asset to SLHS, due to its accessibility and encouraging nature. Students often wish each other happy birthday, and teachers post pictures of their pets. 

However, the Kindness Wall does not come without its flaws. It can be a little awkward to be on the wall because of the attention that comes with having your name on a note. 

“Random people mention it to you if you’re on it, and that’s a weird feeling,” says freshman Sammantha Ford. “But one of my friends mentioned it later and that wasn’t bad.”

In addition, messages, sometimes from at least a week before, often show up instead of new messages when there are not enough submissions. 

“I feel like the wall would make a greater impact if they switched out the messages more,” technology education teacher Ms. Sidney Scoralick said. “You usually see birthday wishes on it from October instead of new messages. I think it’s an awesome idea, but not enough people are participating.” 

Mrs. Guarriello explained that only the positive messages can be displayed. 

 “We probably get 40 or 50 submissions a day. Many of them are not good, but there are a lot of very positive submissions, which are the ones that go up, and so we have to read them all,” Mrs. Guarriello said. “[One of the three administrators has] to either approve or disapprove them and then once we approve, they start going up on the wall.”

The steps to submitting to the Kindness Wall are fairly straightforward. The website can be accessed by scanning a QR code posted on flyers around the school. All you have to do is type in a short message (or enter an image), and click submit. It might take a little while for your message to appear on the public wall, but know that your submission is being considered, and it will make a positive impact on someone’s day.