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He said 'I hope I'll be back soon.' The policemen didn't say anything. They just left her there.

This is when I ask you to open up that special place in your heart where empathy lives and listen to this story of a girl who's lost a parent — even though he's still living.

He said 'I hope I'll be back soon.' The policemen didn't say anything. They just left her there.

"That day was the defining moment of my life. I was in my junior year of high school. And I used to remember the date. ... And I feel really bad about not knowing the date any more. The police showed up early in the morning. And my dad asked the policemen what they wanted. And they said, 'You're under arrest.' And my dad said, 'OK.' I think he just hugged me and he said something like, 'I hope I'll be back soon.' The policemen didn't say anything to me. They just left me there by myself."


1 in 28 children have a parent in jail. There are now enough children with incarcerated parents that "Sesame Street" has an entire toolkit to help them cope.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

U.S. Marshals arresting a man.

The tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018 inspired a heated debate in the country over how to best keep our nation's students safe.

Liberals favored stronger gun control measures they hoped would reduce the chances of such an atrocity. While many on the right advocated for increasing the number of armed police officers in schools to keep them safe.

A new study by the Annenberg Institute at Brown University has shed some light on the debate over how to keep our schools safe.

It found that between 2014 and 2018, having a police officer or school resource officers (SROs) (as they are commonly known) on campus did not reduce school shootings, but increased suspensions, expulsions and arrests of students.

The study shows that with an increase of law enforcement in students' lives, the more likely they are to face stronger disciplinary actions.

"We also find that SROs intensify the use of suspensions, expulsions, police referrals, and arrests of students," researchers wrote. "These effects are consistently over two times larger for Black students than white students."

The study did have one positive finding: that schools with SROs experience a small reduction in non-gun-related violence.

Another study out of Florida found that after SROs were made mandatory in the state in 2018, the number of school arrests, which had been on the decline, started to rise. There was also a huge uptick in the number of students that had to be restrained.

Since the increase in law enforcement in the nation's schools, there has been a rash of shocking videos featuring kids being restrained or beaten.

In 2019, a 16-year-old in Chicago was kicked, punched and tasered by police. Another video from Camden, Arkansas showed a police officer putting a student in a chokehold and pulling him off the ground.

ACLU: "cops in schools lead to students being criminalized for behavior that should be handled inside the school."via Kindel Media/Pexels

The study found that the presence of SROs "predicted greater numbers of behavioral incidents being reported to law enforcement, particularly for less severe infractions and among middle schoolers."

It makes sense, when you put a police officer in every school, the number of kids that get arrested goes up. Petty infractions that were once handled by school officials become instances where kids wind up in handcuffs.

The Annenberg study says the arrests happen "despite the fact that SROs are typically not supposed to, and often do not intend to, become involved in minor disciplinary matters in the school."

Researchers find their results to be "worrisome" because SROs are clearly working to promote the "school-to-jail" pipeline.

As the ACLU points out, "cops in schools lead to students being criminalized for behavior that should be handled inside the school" and "harsh disciplinary policies push students down the pipeline and into the juvenile justice system."

When students find themselves in juvenile detention facilities, they face numerous barriers to returning to school. Then, without a diploma, the former students are more likely to find themselves in the criminal justice system.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."