WSFCS recognizes International Kindness Day


Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

WSFCS announces Kindness Day, Nov. 12, 2021, as a day off for students and staff to focus on mental health and helping the community. Students used the day off to recharge and help others around the community.

Kindness Day, observed on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, was a day off for students and staff throughout the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School District to focus on community and personal health. 

Kindness Day is an internationally recognized day when people are meant to support one another and help others. Students within the WSFCS district believed that the break was meant as a mental health day. Students and staff had been tirelessly working for over 11 weeks since returning to in-person learning, so the break was greatly appreciated. 

It will be a day to focus on the mental health of students and staff by showing kindness, community, and connection,” WSFCS said on their website.

Students at Reagan used the day off to complete various tasks. Many took the day to rest and to catch up on assignments. Some students are stressed due to impending deadlines while classes keep getting pushed back. 

“I feel like we should move some of these days off to the spring because I can’t get everything done right now,” said junior Vivian De Los Santos. “I’ve been missing class because of schedule changes and so I’m getting less class time to work on assignments.” 

Kindness Day is meant for people to reach out and connect with their community. WSFCS encouraged families to volunteer in their communities. 

“I went to my grandmother’s house and prepared her for a change in living situations,” said freshman Almirrah Faith Elmiligy. “I help her out a lot and it was nice to have Friday off to do that.”

Veterans Day, being on a Thursday, created a bit of scheduling chaos this year. Veterans Day is a national holiday that is always celebrated on Nov. 11. Since students and staff get the day off, the district began to consider the idea of implementing a four-day weekend. Low attendance could have resulted if schools didn’t close last Friday. In the past, many people have decided to take trips early and let their absence stand on those days. 

Students like De Los Santos and sophomore Daniel Reyes agreed that although the four- day weekend was nice, days off for students should be spread throughout the year.
“We shouldn’t have so many days off in November,” Reyes said. “That way we can have more days off in the third quarter.”

Since Kindness Day was originally meant to be a mental health day, many students believed that that’s what the day was for. Having mental health days and breaks is becoming increasingly popular throughout schools.

 “In the last two years alone, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut,  Illinois, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Virginia have passed bills permitting children to be absent from school for mental or behavioral health reasons, efforts that were often aided or spearheaded by students.” said NYTimes’ Christina Caron in an article regarding mental health days in schools.

Another trend gaining popularity in schools is allowing students individual mental health days, granting excused absences when students feel that they need a break. Utah has accepted “mental and behavioral health” as an excuse for a student’s absence, according to Caron. Concerns regarding students abusing this system then arise. 

“I know that you never know if someone is actually taking a mental health day or if they’re skipping, but there’s definitely times where people just don’t feel like they can handle going to school due to personal reasons,” De Los Santos said.