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Pledge day event seeks to spread kindness

MISHAWAKA, Ind. -

Erase meanness and replace it with kindness. That’s the message spreading through schools Thursday not only in Mishawaka, but across the whole world, for Worldwide Erase Meanness Pledge Day.

Erase Meanness was started by a 6th grade teacher at Lasalle Elementary School, Eric Johnson.

Johnson said he came up with the idea in an effort to make his class friendlier and more empathetic towards one another.

The lesson plan he created to do that has now spread to 46 states and 6 continents.

“It’s been pretty cool, pretty humbling to see that many kids want to make the world a little kinder,” said Johnson.

Students attending schools in Mishawaka will sign pledge cards Thursday to help spread the kindness.

Each student who signs the pledge will receive a wristband as a visual reminder. Students and teachers will also spend time Thursday to discuss how they can use kindness to make it a great school year.

Johnson says that conversation is used throughout the year.

He said, “We refer to that Erase Meanness asking ‘How were you more kind today? How were you more empathetic?’”

More than 100 thousand students signed the pledge last year. Johnson says that might not have been possible without social media.

“Being able to spread the word to a larger audience and being able to be connected to all these people and classrooms all over the place shows you that social media does have power for good,” he said.  

And spreading the word is something Johnson says he enjoys.

“I still do all the design work and the artwork and the photography and all of the social media stuff. It’s a labor of love for me,” he said.

You can learn more about Erase Meanness by clicking here.

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