An auditorium full of young girls, moms, family members and friends gathered last Wednesday at Shawnee Mission East High School for a presentation of “Finding Kind,” a documentary created to spread awareness about girl-on-girl bullying.
Sponsored by Briarwood Elementary Girl Scout Troop 1117, the showing of “Finding Kind” drew a large crowd Wednesday night as they filed in one by one to learn more about the dangers of meanness within the “girl world.”
The documentary from filmmakers Lauren Parsekian and Molly Thompson, who met as students at Pepperdine University, features commentary from experts as well as young girls as Parsekian and Thompson traveled across the country to explore the reasoning behind girl bullying.
By selling Girl Scout cookies at 33 cents a box, Troop 1117 was able to raise the $500 fee required to bring “Finding Kind” to Shawnee Mission.
As the lights dimmed and voices hushed, Girl Scouts from Troop 1117 took the stage in pink “Be Kind” T-shirts. They introduced “The Kind Campaign,” part of the mission of the film, and trotted off the stage as the film began.
For the next hour, the audience watched as girls and women of all ages relayed their experience with bullying; some were the perpetrators, some the victims, but all were affected negatively by the catty and hurtful behavior.
“As a parent, honestly, it’s frightening all the things our girls are faced with,” Nikol Terrill, co-leader of Troop 1117, said. “When we were kids, if I wanted to say something, I’d have to say it to your face. But they can just text each other and it’s there forever.”
After the film, audience members were passed a series of pink slips of paper: a “kind pledge,” an apology card and a “kind card.” Audience members were encouraged to fill them out and give the apology and kind card to a friend they had written about.
The importance of the presentation was not lost on the young girls, either.
“I thought it was really cool because it affects what we do at school,” Megan Walstrom, 12, a Girl Scout in Troop 1117, said. “It makes us think about what we say before we say it and think about how it affects people.