Labor Day 2021 behind us, it’s now time for students to hit the books full throttle.

A new school year in session brings changes for all. Students start classes in new school buildings, from kindergarten to middle school to high school. Older students in those buildings see new faces in the halls with these changes, or they might see new students who transferred into the school.

These scenarios in mind, think the word “kind.”

A quote often found in social media memes notes “If you can be anything, be kind.” That’s good advice for students of all ages to remember as they return to school. Another meme suggests (and I’m paraphrasing), “Be kind to others, because they may be fighting battles that you know nothing about.”

Of course, some youngsters just don’t know how to be kind. This brings the subject of bullying to the forefront, yet again. I’ve been writing Mommy Mentions since 2008, and I’ve touched on bullying a few times over the years, including in 2008 when my daughter started pre-k.

I dug into my blog archives, remembering a presentation that took place in Schuylkill County. It focused on addressing and resolving bullying. I found the blog entry, published Sept. 23, 2008. It previewed the presentation by Rosalind Wiseman, author of “Queen Bees & Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Dating and Other Realities of Adolescence.” It also discussed the importance of taking a stand against bullying. The event was sponsored by Schuylkill County’s VISION and held at Pottsville Area High School’s auditorium.

In the blog entry, I detailed how I saw a poster at my daughter’s pre-k center that promoted the event. Above the flier was written, “Parents: Bullying starts in the pre-k years. It is not too soon to learn how to manage the issue!” At the time, I was a little taken aback by that thought, but it definitely had crossed my mind,

As a parent, I always kept the fear of bullying in mind. My daughter, now a senior, never experienced any serious problems. My son, just starting middle school this year, has also been doing well. Additionally, neither has played the role of the bully. If they did, well, I would hold them accountable. I’ve always taught my children to be themselves, to make good choices and, really, to be kind. It seems to be working.

Being kind could make a world of difference to fellow classmates. One random act of kindness could make a student’s day and remain with them for the rest of their life.