Pledge to be Positive campaign propels Dunkerton students - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Pledge to be Positive campaign propels Dunkerton students

The Dunkerton Raiders know they are just two victories from making the Iowa Boys State Tournament, making them the pride of their community right now. The Raiders hope to bring back another state championship and the sportsmanship trophy, as they did in 2004.

But, away from the court, Dunkerton students have been addressing some issue which put the school and community in a negative light. 

Last fall, a Dunkerton student brought a gun and marijuana to a football game. The incident received a lot of media coverage and raised concerns about how people view the Dunkerton school and community.

Several student quotes gave KWWL an insight into some of the other concerns addressed in recent weeks,  "The social media was getting a little out of hand." "People were making negative tweets and teachers were getting picked on a little bit." "Just bashing on other students, making mean jokes about them. "Just disrespectful things towards other kids and teachers in school. We wanted to change that."  T

That’s why four Dunkerton students decided to take action. The four included juniors, Emilee Miller and Lane Johnson, along with sophomores Rylie Stanton and John Davis. They decided the action was necessary, after attending a leadership conference at Wartburg College back in December. The leadership day was sponsored by the 12-team Iowa Star Conference, of which Dunkerton is a member.

Says Rylie Stanton, "We want the community to support what we're doing and then maybe that can help reach the kids and make it easier for them to support us, if their parents are supporting what we're doing, too.”

At the risk of alienating or angering their classmates, the students boldly moved ahead, addressing the student body and the community to tell everyone about their plan.

Lane Johnson says the Iowa Star Conference wanted to see improvement too. Lane says, "They wanted sportsmanship to be a lot better. So, we came up with a plan to have the meeting and have them pledge to be positive on the social media and not abuse the social sites."     

John Davis added, "If you are going to say things like that, don't post it. You can think things to yourself, but there's no reason to show it to everybody. Making fun of someone for no reason seems mean to me.”

Their plan is making a difference. Rylie says, "There were some negative tweets right away and some people made a new account making fun of us or whatever, but they pretty much stopped right away and we haven't had a problem. It's a lot more fun to be here."

Emilee Miler adds, "With the little kids, I want them to see how easy it is to be a good person. I want them to see how I can make a big difference and they can too. I want them to see that what happens in the past, stays in the past, and we can more on and become a better, positive community."                     
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