Kailey Kukkola, a 9th grader at College Heights High in British Columbia, Canada, was recently a victim of bullying at her school. But instead of playing the part of the victim, she took a stand and forced everyone in her school to take notice.
Kailey recently saw her name written inside a bathroom stall alongside some mean-spirited words directed at her. At first, she laughed it off, but then took a different approach.
“At first I laughed about it because I thought it was kinda funny,” says Kailey. “But then I got kinda sad. I don’t know why girls do that to each other.”
In a stroke of genius, Kailey took a picture of the graffiti and then turned that picture into a t-shirt that she wore to school so everyone can see the mean-spirited message someone wrote.
“I just wanted to show the person that I don’t care,” Kailey explains. “They’re just words and they shouldn’t matter that much.”
Wearing the shirt to school definitely made some heads turn. Many of Kailey’s friends showed her support for wearing it.
Meanwhile, Kailey was sent to the office and explained to the school administration that she didn’t think anything would be done if she told a school official about the graffiti, as it was just one of many examples of harsh words written in bathroom stalls.
However, while the graffiti itself didn’t prompt the school to do anything, Kailey wearing it on her shirt and throwing it in everyone’s face may have done the trick.
Superintendent Marilyn Marquis-Forster says that the bathroom graffiti has been removed and that the school will start to take reports of bullying more seriously.
“Making a big deal like that really got it fixed,” says Kailey, who admits to being hesitant to execute her t-shirt idea. “You hear the stories in the news and all over social media of kids getting bullied. Sometimes, something like this can trigger more.”
However, Kailey’s idea seems to have made a real impact, at least in one school. Kailey has since been asked to speak at an anti-bullying workshop, where she intends to wear her now famous t-shirt.
[Images via cbc.ca]