Skip to page content Skip to site navigation
Home :: Open Government :: News :: 2013 :: March
AG Chris Koster | FAQs
Missouri Attorney General


Browse by month and year

Search by keyword(s)

Attorney General's News Release

March 12, 2013

Attorney General Koster applauds Tuscumbia High School students for anti-bullying campaign

- Koster’s internet safety program 
inspires school’s “Kindness is Cool” campaign -

Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster today met with students, the principal and the counselor of Tuscumbia High to learn about the school’s anti-bullying campaign. Students began the program after hearing a presentation about internet safety from Koster’s Education Director in October 2011. Koster said their anti-bullying campaign led to impressive results that he hopes can be replicated in other schools across the state. 

The school looked at bullying data from before the students’ “Kindness is Cool” campaign, compared to after the activities took place, and found that:

  • Reported incidents of bullying decreased almost 20 percent;
  • The number of calls from parents concerning bullying went from 23 in 2011 to 0 in 2012;
  • Attendance increased from 94.8 percent to 98.2 percent; and
  • Discipline incidents attributed to bullying declined from 52 incidents in 2011 to 29 incidents in 2012.

“The decreased incidents of bullying at Tuscumbia High School after the ‘Kindness is Cool’ campaign gives us hope that all schools can create new cultures of respect,” Koster said.  “I hope that Tuscumbia High School’s model for success will spread across the state and will lead to safer, more positive experiences for all young people, especially those who are victims of bullying.”

Tuscumbia High School’s campaign featured a number of activities, including:

  • A “Kindness is Cool” bulletin board that included a handprint of every student who signed their “kindness pledge;”
  • A mentoring program to assist classmates who were victims of bullying;
  • Assemblies for both elementary and secondary students developed and presented by members of the Tuscumbia High School’s chapter of the National Honor Society;
  • A website where students could post affirmations about their classmates;
  • A balloon launch with positive messages attached to the balloons, including the program’s web address.

Koster launched his “Surf Safely” website in October 2010 with information for teens, younger children, parents and teachers on how to keep young people safe on the Internet.  That same month Koster’s Education Director, Tom Durkin, began giving presentations on Internet Safety, including cyber bullying, to schools around the state.  Durkin has given his presentation to more than 100 schools, reaching more than 20,000 students, teachers and parents.  Following Durkin’s presentation at Tuscumbia High School on October 28, 2011, a group of students who were members of the National Honor Society approached Durkin saying they wanted to make a difference in their community, and started their campaign to change the culture in their school. 

The following Tuscumbia High School administrators and students met with Koster:

Tuscumbia High School NHS students:
Tara Humphreys – NHS President
Sara Abbett – NHS Vice-President
Olivia Jarret – NHS Secretary
Alexis Ash – NHS Treasurer; admin. for website
Timothy McPherson NHS member
Tristen Patterson NHS member
Mr. Jason Price – Principal
Brittany Gaines - Counselor

State homepage   |    Missouri statutes   |    Forms   |    Site Map   |    Accessibility   |    Privacy Policy   |    Contact Us  Follow AGO on Twitter!  RSS Feed  RSS Feed