I’d love to hear the 911 call for the water balloon fight. It’d be funny if it wasn’t so disturbing.

The water balloon incident happened in May 2013

When police were called to get kids to stop throwing water balloons at Enloe High School in Raleigh, North Carolina, seven kids got charged with misdemeanors: Six for disorderly conduct and the seventh for assault and battery after throwing a water balloon at a school security officer. A parent who protested was arrested.

Alarmingly, cops being called on kids in school isn't as unusual as you might think. The days of just going to the principal's office — and that's it — are over in some schools.



School administrators around the U.S. are getting tougher with misbehaving kids, meting out suspensions, expulsions, and even arrests.

The evidence suggests that these punishments are having a terrible lifelong impact on the students.

It puts them into the so-called "school-to prison pipeline."

It's not even like the schools are necessarily going after kids for serious things, either.

95% of out-of-school suspensions are for non-violent misbehaviors.


The dangerous result is that every one of these kids gets the message:


Once that happens, it's a slippery slope.


  • Kids who get sent to juvenile detention centers are 67% more likely to be back in jail by the time they're 25.

Certain groups receive the bulk of the discipline, making this even more troubling.

Wade County, North Carolina, has one of the most active school-to-prison pipelines. In that school, 40% of black kids caught with cellphones were suspended while only 17% of the white kids caught were punished with suspension.

Only 29% of public school kids are black and Latino, and yet they receive 70% of the in-school arrests.

Special needs students are often caught up in this, too.

32% of the kids in juvenile detention centers are special needs kids.

They're often sent there for their special-needs behaviors.

Are all schools involved in this?

Thankfully, no.

But as America tries to improve its education system — and as administrators try to deal with behavior challenges — the school-to-prison pipeline makes it clear that too often kids are being set up for a dark, hopeless future. There must be a better way to deal with kids acting out. For now, the school-to-prison pipeline is one of the reasons the U.S. jails more people than any other country.

Here's Brave New Films' explanation of the school-to-prison pipeline:

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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."

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.