Central Catholic "Kindness Room" gives students a safe, creative space
You may remember the story of Luken T. Boyle. Two years ago the 14-year-old took his life after being cyber-bullied. His mother started the Luken T. Boyle Campaign for Kindness in his honor. There's been kindness rallies and anti-bullying programs. New this year is something special at Luken's High School.
Creating a Kindness Room at Central Catholic High School has been a passion in the works since the campaign started. Donations and dedication from numerous people have made it the inviting place it is now.
Be kind. Be so good they can't ignore it. Kindness changes everything. These are some of the positive messages hung in a new classroom at Central Catholic. Luken would have been a junior this year.
"He didn't just speak about it. He lived his kindness you know that was just who he was. So, it was really cool to be his mom," said his mother Samantha Boyle.
After Luken's death, his mother Samantha, channeled her grief into something positive. Building a campaign and using his life as a lesson on the permanence of suicide, the prevalence of bullying, and the impact intentional kindness can have.
"It's really easy to fall into that, you know, that trap of being mean to them back, but what this campaign and what Luken taught me is that you need to be kind back," said Luken's friend Zach Scally.
"Even like talking to some of my friends like it's happened to them and we're just like really lucky that it hasn't happened to more people because it's like such a big thing now," said Luken's friend Kylie Katafiasz.
The Kindness Room is a safe space for crafts. It's a place to write and give encouraging notes to be spread around school and the community. College Counselor Mona McGhee knew Luken well.
"I know he would be a number one guest in this room. He would be the one that would be reaching out to others to make their day better, to make their life better," said McGhee.
While Luken never got the chance to walk the halls of Central Catholic as a student, his impact will be felt here for years to come.
"We can't bring this child back. What could we teach to make sure it doesn't happen and I always think like if somebody would have reached out to him...if he would have had a card that he could have opened up, would that have made a difference?" said MGhee.
"Once the kids are in here and seeing how they're interacting with each other and that's where I feel him. You know, that's where I can see his legacy unfolding right in front of me," said Boyle.
to learn more about the Luken T. Boyle Campaign for Kindness.