KANSAS, Ohio — Lakota Local Schools is kicking off a campaign to remind their peers to treat everyone with kindness.
It's called "Hats not Hate" with the goal of standing together to end bullying.
"They're not just a hat, they're a symbol of the fact that everybody in the school is a community and we are all here for each other and we should spread kindness to one another," Lakota junior Liza Ebert said.
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Colors of the ocean coat the halls and classrooms at Lakota Local Schools.
Each student and staff member visually represent the goal to end bullying in schools.
"It's just amazing to see everyone wearing the same hat," senior Jenna Juarez said. "The same concept. They're all different colors, different shapes, but they're all blue hats. It's really great. It's a symbol of unity is what I've been saying because everyone, while they're unique, they're still the same."
#HatNotHate is the school-wide campaign spearheaded by the Lakota Women's Leadership Council. Each member of the group personally labeled and distributed the 1200 handmade kindness reminders.
So far this year, Lakota Schools is the only district in Ohio to do this and one of a handful across the nation. But these beanies and their message are more than just a campaign.
For some students, it's personal.
"I've even experienced it for a little while," Ebert said. "I wouldn't say it's a huge problem in the school, but there's definitely been cases of it happening here."
Under each hat is a story -- one they hope can play a role in making people think before they act.
"This little seed of an idea has now made an all-school impact. We hope it spreads to other schools in the area and that we can keep this mission moving," Council adviser Nancy Slotterbeck said.