CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. - There is power in words. That is why Bailey Bridge Middle School School counselor Sarah Thompson is teaching students that even a short negative statement can have a long term effect on someone.
"You're so ugly. No one here likes you. Yeah, these are things that have been said [to students]," Ms. Thompson said. "We're constantly saying to [students] they might not know what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel."
Ms. Thompson uses an apple to demonstrate the power of negative words.
She shows students what abusing the apple from the outside will eventually do to the inside.
"Do you think that this is what they look like on the inside?” Ms. Thompson asked while showing the brown inside of the apple. “Yeah. Kind of sad. Really bruised."
It is a lesson her students take to heart. They are learning their life can be a little more amazing if they choose not to be a “bad apple” themselves.
"It makes me feel good when someone calls me smart," sixth grade student Jacob Childs said. "It makes me feel better about what I'm doing and makes me feel that I'm doing good."
Ruby Archibong, an eighth grade student, is also learning about the power of positive words.
"For me, when people say I'm beautiful, it brings my self-esteem higher,” Ruby said. “It makes me feel good about myself.”
"I don't want to be a negative Nancy, if you know what I'm saying," eighth grade student Joel Moody added. “I want to be a positive person."
If you know a student, teacher, or school staff member ho should be featured on Building Better Minds, email Rob Cardwell.
Building Better Minds airs Wednesdays on CBS 6 at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.