ONTARIO — Students at Ontario High School spent part of their day thinking back to Sept. 11, 2001 with a “Kindness Day” throughout the high school.
During their first period class, students received a red string that they tied around their wrist. The string was to remind students to do something kind for someone that day.
At the end of the day, students were able to take a sticky note and write down their kind deed to post on their kindness wall that was in the main hallway at the high school.
More than 100 colorful sticky notes eventually covered the wall with students displaying their kindness for the day.
Of note is that 9/11 was exactly 18 years ago and Ontario High School Principal Jodi Elizondo is unsure if any students at the school were alive for that day. She said if there are any, it’s a small number.
Elizondo said the day is something that most of the faculty and staff at Ontario High School have strong memories of. For the students of Ontario High School, it’s important to use the day as a teaching moment.
“I don’t know if, the further away you get from the event, if you can even teach the real impact of it,” Elizondo said. “Our goal here is to show them to be a part of the larger country and the community they are in. Just remember that it’s something that still impact them, even if they don’t know it.”
Ontario High School students saw a Powerpoint presentation on Wednesday discussing 9/11, but Elizondo said they wanted to look more into the themes of the day.
“It’s not necessarily as impactful to teach all the moments, but we can pull what we want out of it and focus on that,” Elizondo said. “We chose kindness.”
Elizondo said that with social media and the use of technology, students are more “fractured, as a community, as they’ve ever been.” The theme of kindness, and doing things for others, is reminiscent of the first responders, many of whom gave their lives trying to save others during the terrorist attack.
“At this point, we can only ask that the students give respect for what’s happened and they do a good job of that,” Elizondo said.