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Students start NNHS Compliments to combat bullying

[media-credit name=”Julia Oran” align=”alignright” width=”300″] Students started NNHS Compliments to combat bullying.
by Julia Oran

This school has been working hard to combat online and in-person bullying, through in-school activities, including extended homeroom and presentations, such as Rachel’s Challenge.

However, a couple of students from this school started something that a school’s anti-bullying curriculum cannot accomplish. These students decided to use Facebook as a tool to fight bullying, instead of as a device to aid bullying.

NNHS Compliments is a page on Facebook that these students created as a place for other students to anonymously compliment their peers. The students who started and run the page wish to also remain anonymous, so other students feel comfortable submitting compliments. They will be referred to as NNHS Compliments in this article.

Students at this school can message NNHS Compliments on Facebook with a compliment for another student and then NNHS Compliments will copy and paste the message into a status and tag the recipient.

NNHS Compliments got the idea to start the Facebook page after hearing about a similar program at Princeton, which “had really seemed to bring people together.”

NNHS Compliments said, “Throughout my time at this school, I’ve noticed some divides between different social groups. I figured that maybe, by giving people an anonymous way to reach out to each other, some of these divides could start to be bridged.”

NNHS Compliments said in their Facebook page description that they reserve the right “not to post any compliments that seem backhanded or rude” because especially over the Internet, jokes can be misinterpreted. As a result, “our theory is better safe than sorry when it comes to posting on the internet so we only post compliments that are obviously nice,” they said.

NNHS Compliments said, “The best things about NNHS Compliments are seeing the joy it brings to people. We basically have a continuous flood of notifications coming in from ‘likes’ and comments on the compliments.”

However, NNHS Compliments said that, because they must individually post each compliment, it can get overwhelming at some points because so many people submit compliments, and sometimes, they submit multiple compliments at once.

Despite this small inconvenience, NNHS Compliments said, “What’s also really cool is that NNHS Compliments allows people of different social circles to reach out to each other, be it through sending a compliment or liking a compliment of someone who they don’t usually interact with.”

Sophomore Laura Schlossman, who received a compliment, echoed this sentiment. “I absolutely love NNHS Compliments because it can separate high schoolers from drama and other bad typical high school aspects and brings out the good in everyone.”

She added, “It made me feel happy that someone was thinking of me enough to go out of their way to write something about me.”

Similarly, junior Sarah Riley said, “Receiving a compliment made me feel like I was appreciated. It really brightened my day to know that someone took the time and effort to write something nice to me.”

Riley commented, “I think NNHS Compliments is great because I think it’s rare and somewhat difficult in today’s society to give people honest and genuine compliments.

“So, it’s nice to be able to voice your thoughts, anonymously, and still let that person know what you’ve always wanted to tell them.”

Senior Kyle Hartmann said, “I feel like the anonymous compliments allow people to assume that anyone could have written them, thus causing a chain reaction for people to write compliments for others.”

He also said, “Receiving a compliment was uplifting. Not only did it put me in a better mood, it showed me that people truly care. NNHS Compliments, in general, was a fantastic idea.”

Senior David Demarest similarly said, “Receiving a compliment made me feel absolutely fantastic, seriously. People, including myself, go through life wondering and worrying what others think of them, and to know that you are appreciated and cared for feels really special, especially when it is expressed in such a personal, kind manner.”

He expressed concern, though, about students who have not yet received a compliment.

Demarest said, “It’s sad to imagine how those people feel. Many of these people are quite deserving of compliments, and their confidence should not be impaired simply because of not being as loud and noticeable about their strengths.

“These people deserve to be thought of, and taking 10 minutes from your day to write them a nice compliment can make a huge difference.”

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