Cool Schools: Florence Middle School

Cool Schools

School violence is making students all over the country think about the affects of bullying.

And Florence Middle School is getting ahead of it by making sure every student feels valued.

It all starts every Tuesday morning in Ms. Johnna Coward’s classroom.

Students brainstorm and plan programs that take charge of the school’s social atmosphere.

Speak Up For Others (SUFO) is a group of students working to end social isolation and bullying.

It’s a branch of a nationwide movement called SAVE Promise, which was started in response to school shootings.

“It’s going from state to state, and I hope that everybody sees that school violence is not okay. If you’re getting bullied you can talk to somebody,” 7th grader Maddison Marcio said.

SUFO is behind programs like Florence Middle’s ‘Just Say Hello Week’, where students showered each other with positive sticky notes and mixed up normal friend groups at lunch.

“More people have been smiling, and people that sit alone don’t really sit alone anymore because we have people that go and sit with them,” 7th grader Leah Green said.

The school’s new resource officer says the kids are doing a great job speaking about their experiences.

“If something’s not right, they’ll let me know what’s going on. We have like an open relationship. I talk to them everyday to see how they’re doing,” Officer Joey Leonard said.

In April, students are going to represent the school at the National Youth SAVE Promise Summit in North Carolina.

The kids are raising money to get there here.

If you know of a school, teacher or administrator doing something cool, nominate them for our “Cool Schools” segment. Just send an email to with your idea.

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