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Moore High School Students Work Together To Break Down Barriers

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MOORE, Oklahoma -

Kindness can go a long way. So much so, Moore High School students have dedicated an entire month to performing random acts of kindness. The most recent initiative has been dubbed the "Starts with Hello" campaign.

Students with Freshman Utilizing Student Experience program, also known as FUSE, spent their lunch hour reaching out their peers who might otherwise sit alone in the cafeteria.

"You were nice to me by letting me sit here," one student said to Darnell Reedom.

Reedom and about two dozen students walked around the cafeteria saying "hello" in an effort to end social isolation and bullying.

"I do see people quite a bit of eating alone and it kind of makes me sad," Jordyn Owens said.

Some believe that same sort isolation may have spurred 17-year-old Robert Dobbs to make threats against the school principal and other students last month.

Dobbs' father says his son is autistic and suffered years of bullying before his arrest, last Tuesday.

"We are aware that most of the problems that happen in schools happen because these are people that feel isolated and there is no excuse for that," Sally Lawrence, FUSE co-sponsor said.

For that reason, she is trying to teach her students that one small greeting can make a big difference.

"We've seen it in other schools, and even in our own school," Lawrence said.

Alexa Sheppard, a student in FUSE, said she used to be the one sitting alone.

"I was that kid who didn't have any friends, I didn’t have anyone to talk to," Sheppard said.

She credits her involvement in school to one random act of kindness.

"I found all of the friends that I have because someone invited me to lunch, and that's what today is all about -- nobody eats alone," Sheppard says she wants to make sure of it.

The students’ kindness initiative does not stop in the lunch room. The next organized event, "Green Out Game", is scheduled for Saturday. Students are encouraged to wear green to the Moore vs. Mustang game to support first responders and military personnel.

Tip-off is at 5:30 p.m. and admission is free.

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