While people of different skin tones and backgrounds have more opportunities in today’s society, unfortunately, racism is still a relevant issue. And many people have to deal with the effects of this on a daily basis, whether it’s a snide comment, racial slur, or cruel joke.
The students at Warren Township High School near Chicago are no exception when it comes to such racial attacks.
One day, a student at the school was going to the restroom when they discovered someone had written on a stall the phrase “whites only.” Unnerved by the discovery, students spread the word quickly throughout the school.
Soon everyone was talking about the racist message.
The message had been written following the 2016 election, and with tensions already running high, the incident served to only exacerbate the feelings of stress and worry that many students were feeling.
“It was very tense, clearly divided the people protesting and people against it—or didn’t care,” Connor Hankla, who was a student at the school, said to NBC 5.
Student Kathryn Haynes decided to do something about it.
Haynes wanted to do something that would help the students heal and move on from this hate-filled act. She felt that love and kindness were the ways to deal with race problems, so she came up with a clever idea that she figured could do exactly that.
Her idea was soon approved by the principal and quickly became a hit.
Haynes and a few other student volunteers spent hours creating 2,500 sticky notes on their own time, with heartfelt notes of encouragement on them. They purposely chose sticky notes that that were light and vibrant in color.
They then posted them on lockers throughout the school. The finished project was said to be jaw-dropping.
“You are loved!” one note said. “Believe you can!” said another.
“Seize the day!” said one of the notes.
The students of the school were very touched by the gesture. The staff even shared that they started seeing a noticeable difference amongst them.
“People told me it made their day, seeing the bright colors,” Haynes explained. “They said it made them smile, even if it was a little thing.
“It had an effect on them.”
Haynes was glad to help relieve the tension of her fellow classmates and provide her fellow students the perspective of putting in an effort to care about one another.
For Haynes, she knows there will always be race issues in the world, but by showing love to one another, people can work together to make the world a little bit better—one sticky note at a time.