IMPACT

A School Took Down Positive Post-It Notes, But Then Something Great Happened (TWEETS)

10/10/2014 06:38 EDT | Updated 10/10/2014 09:59 EDT

Like many high schoolers, Airdrie, Alta. teen Caitlin Prater-Haacke has been bullied.

Last month, someone broke into her locker at George McDougall High School and used her iPad to write a Facebook message saying she should kill herself, The Airdrie City View reported.

But instead of getting angry, the 16-year-old responded by spreading positive messages to her fellow students.

Inspired by posts she saw on Pinterest, she wrote up hundreds of notes with messages such as "You're awesome" and "you make the world special" and posted them on every locker in the school, said CTV News.

School officials, however quickly put an end to it, pulling Prater-Haacke out of class and telling her to clean up the notes after some had fallen on the ground, radio station 660 News reported.

But after Prater-Haacke wrote about it on the Airdrie Moms Facebook page, residents across the town jumped on board and launched Positive Post-it Day, a campaign in which people are urged to leave happy notes for one another anonymously and share them online using the hashtag #positivepostit.

The City of Airdrie has now declared Oct. 9 as Positive Post-it Day, reports CTV News, and a Staples store lent its support by giving away Post-it notes for free.

The campaign drew a massive response on Twitter Thursday:

This wasn't the first time that Prater-Haacke tried to spread good cheer around her school and was disciplined for it. She told the City View that last year, she had covered up vandalism in a washroom by writing "you're beautiful" instead, but was told it was vandalism and then suspended for two days.

"They told me you need to find better and non-permanent mediums to do such a thing," she told the newspaper. "So, a year later, I found a better and non-permanent way to do such a thing and they pulled it down."

But this time, even the school came around, telling her it wanted to partake in Positive Post-it Day.

A school statement sent to QMI Agency said it would not discuss individual students, but said events led by its teens are "essential to building safe and caring learning environments where everyone is treated with dignity and respect."

Prater-Haacke is just happy it "stepped up."

"We wanted to make this day where we could all do it, we could all show how much we really care for each other," she told CTV News.

The RCMP are investigating the break-in at her locker.

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