Lakeview Middle School students hear why it’s ‘Cool to be Kind’

By Mike Taylor • Last Updated 5:36 pm on Wednesday, February 18, 2015

LAKEVIEW— Life can be tough for kids in middle school. Stuck in that adolescent no-man’s land between childhood and the world of adults is often a confusing miasma of trying to fit in, trying to stand out and just trying to make it through another day of sixth grade.

Lakeview Middle School students fire up their classmates at an anti-bullying rally held Tuesday in the school’s gym. The “Cool to by Kind” assembly featured speakers from the high school, as well as teachers and administrators. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

It’s all too easy for kids to make bad decisions. And often, when they do, they’re too emotionally inexperienced to find workable solutions to their problems.

That’s why programs and presentations like Lakeview Middle School’s “Cool to be Kind” assembly are so important. On Tuesday afternoon, Lakeview Middle School students got a chance to hear from teachers, other middle school students, and even high school kids on what techniques they’ve used in life to overcome difficult situations.

The Lakeview High School band provided music for the event, which was a hodgepodge of feel-good cheering, skits, music and personal testimony.

Some of the highlights of the assembly included comments from sisters Jordan and Kelsey Rossett, who have managed to persevere as students and young women despite a difficult family life.

Lakeview High School basketball player Ben Outman shared his personal stories of resilience with middle school students. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

“Our mom was sent to prison for being involved in a very bad car accident,” Kelsey said. “She was in jail for two years and our family didn’t think my dad was ready to be a parent, so we couldn’t see our dad. It was a very different experience and it really changed our lifestyle. The changes happened, but in the end it was for the best.”

Jordan added their mother was released earlier than expected from prison and the family has now been reunited.

“Now I’m an honor student and play softball with my sister,” Jordan said.

Both sisters noted they were often made fun of during the time of their family’s trouble, but in the end it made them stronger.

Lakeview High School basketball standout Ben Outman also shared his tale of perseverance with the middle school students. Outman said there was a time he felt he would never be much more than a benchwarmer when it came to basketball.

However, with the encouragement of his teammates and coaches, he turned it around, not just on the court, but in his personal life. The importance of building each other up, he said, can’t be overstated.

“I could never have done it myself,” he said. “I always had my teammates there along with me helping me be what I could be. If you work hard and your resilient and good to others, you’ll accomplish your goals along the way.”

Lakeview Middle School students get pumped up. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

The Lakeview High School Climate Club also were featured during the assembly. The club’s skit demonstrated ways of giving up bad habits, and helping others do the same.

Finally, Lakeview Middle School nurse Beckee Kibler shared with the students her reluctance to go to college.

“I never thought I was smart enough,” she admitted. “I didn’t think I could do it.”

With the encouragement of her husband, however, she went back to school and managed to get a nursing degree.

The Lakeview Middle School students seemed receptive to the message and responded to most of the speakers with cheers and thunderous applause. They seemed genuinely glad to be on the receiving end of the valuable information.

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