Be Kind
Kindness focus of students at school
Posted on 03/04/2020
This is the image for the news article titled Kindness focus of students at schoolKindness rules at Congressman Silvestre & Carolina Reyes Elementary. When it comes to safety, respect, and responsibility, kindness is an area of focus that students are being taught to start with at school this year.

Reyes Elementary Counselor Michelle Escobedo says that we have to teach our kids to be kind and be respectful with one another. She added that teaching kindness is important to combat issues like bullying and cyberbullying that has become so prevalent in schools.

“We want to make sure that we are giving our kids the right tools, and that we’re where guiding them in the right direction to make those good choices,” Escobedo said. “We’ve been promoting kindness all year long because we really think that having that empathy for others is going to be able to make the respect, the responsibility, and the safety just flourish. But it has to come from the heart.”

Reyes Elementary hosted a special presentation Tuesday to talk with students about the dangers of cyberbullying, what they can do to stop it, and how they can help protect others from being targets of this abuse. El Paso attorneys Cori Harbour-Valdez and Leonardo Maldonado visited students who learned the difference between rude, mean, and bullying behavior and send a clear message on the damage of cyberbullying.

“We think it’s very important to get into the schools to share with kids three really important lessons,” Harbour-Valdez said. “One, that their words can wound. Words have consequences. And, it doesn’t matter whether they’re sending it over a text message, or a snap chat, or they’re saying it in person. So, we teach them to use kind words.”

The attorneys presented on behalf of David’s Legacy Foundation, a non-profit organization based in San Antonio, Texas, in honor of David Molak who took his own life at the age of 16 after being continuously harassed, humiliated and threatened by a group of students through text messages and social media. The foundation teaches how to recognize this bullying behavior, how to be "upstanders" rather than "bystanders", and encourages students to pledge to never use their device as a weapon. Maldonado says he can relate to the issue.

“I think we all can relate, when we were young, to a bullying situation,” Maldonado said. “And now, more so with technology, it’s just in our children’s faces. Every day, we hear stories of somebody being bullied. This is a good way to get involved in my community here.”

Reyes Elementary principal Jessica Carrillo says that this presentation reinforces their focus this year and that the school has also added a lot of community outreach where they’re giving back to teach our kids to see what kindness really means.

“We want kids to remember that we help one another, that we’re kind to one another, and we make good choices,” Carrillo said. “This is part of our culture, not only for students, but for teachers, for the community, for everybody.”

Reyes Elementary will continue to partner with David’s Legacy Foundation for training for staff and parents. For more information about David’s Law and eliminating cyber and other bullying of children and teens, visit