Teachers in Tampa, Florida, are in awe of their students. Despite apprehensions about bullying, teachers have noticed their students are surprisingly welcoming of all students.

Elio has a rare skin condition and has faced a lifetime of bullying because of it — up until now. On his very first day of school at Dowdell Middle School, Chris, one of the more popular kids at school, waltzed right up to him for a chat. The two became fast friends as Chris showed him around his new school.

“When you have a skin condition, it affects a lot of things, like how people treat you,” Elio told WFTS Tampa. “To have a friend like Chris, it feels good.”

The kindness bug has also reached upperclassmen. Students at East Bay High School have made an effort to help lonely or alienated kids. Demetra Johnson is just 16, but has made it her duty to make kids feel welcome.

“At first I thought you were weird because you were being so friendly,” said another student, Tobi, who had moved to Tampa from New York City. “I was just surprised someone was this nice to me.”

Teachers in the area have added kindness into their curriculum. Needless to say, they’re proud to see students taking the lessons to heart.

“You never know what someone’s going through until you go up to people and have a conversation,” Demetra said. “Most people give back the same energy you give to them.”

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