Spring Hill Mayor Rick Graham recently proclaimed September as “Be Nice Month in Spring Hill,” joining Williamson County government and the county’s five other municipalities in again adopting Williamson County Schools’ popular, and now annual, “Be Nice” campaign.

The movement encourages students and residents alike to be kind, respectful and generous and to treat others as they would like to be treated.

Each of the cities in Williamson County has adopted a separate proclamation declaring September 2016 as “Be Nice” Month. Spring Hill’s proclamation, put forth by Graham, explains why the city supports the effort.

“Spring Hill has a tradition of southern hospitality and graciousness, and values the culture of kindness that was born out of the ‘Be Nice’ movement,” he said in the proclamation. “Spring Hill can serve to be an example of what cities can aspire to through individuals simply being nice and doing good, and by giving where there is a need.”

The “Be Nice” movement began in 2013 when a group of Fairview High School students and staff began working on ways to create a culture of kindness in their school.  They came up with the slogan, “Be Nice,” and began printing T-shirts and signs with the mantra.

As the message spread, photos of students, teachers, celebrities and professional athletes holding the “Be Nice” sign began to appear on social media. More importantly, teachers and students at Fairview High began to report a change in student behavior.

The district decided to expand the message to include all 41 schools and the community at large. Because of its popularity on social media, the movement has spread worldwide, with photos of the “Be Nice” sign being posted in recent years from many far away places like Uganda and the Great Wall of China.