Bullying and negativity on social media has become an epidemic, according to Decorah native Kim Karr.
And Karr, a 1997 graduate of Decorah High School, is inviting students and parents to make a difference.
Karr will present “#icanhelp: It’s time to delete negativity on social media,” today (Tuesday, June 17), in the Carrie Lee Auditorium, from 7-8:30 p.m. 
Karr teaches middle school leadership and physical education at Excelsior Middle School in Antioch, Calif. She is the daughter of Dwayne and Debbie Karr.
She co-founded a program called #ICANHELP after a “fake and damaging” Facebook page was created about a teacher and a student brought it to Karr’s attention.
“I realized students wanted to do something to help, they just needed the right tools to respond,” said Karr.
Karr said when, a year later, someone posted a fake Instagram page about the same teacher, a student alerted officials and the page was taken down in a day.
“The message is clear. One person has the power to delete negativity online,” said Karr.

A program grows
Karr said her program gained momentum when more and more teachers started coming to her with requests to talk to their kids.
“They said, ‘You need to make this bigger. Can you come do an assembly at my school?’”
Karr said she feels the success of her program can be credited to the fact it is truly student-driven and the message is one of empowerment.
“We try to equip them with all of these ideas. We have kindness weeks where we do anything from writing a compliment and passing them out or making posters,” she said.
“Kids also do things like write a compliment on a Post-It and place it on a friend, who then pays it forward to someone else,” she said.
“Kids come up with the coolest ideas. They’re all about promoting positivity,” she said.

Coming to Decorah
Karr said when she and friend Allysen (Edwards) Lovstuen, a teacher at Decorah High School, started discussing bullying recently, she decided she might be able to help students and parents in Decorah with her message of positivity.
“We said, ‘Let’s make something happen,’” said Karr.

About the program
Parents and children (ages 10 and up are recommended) are invited to this evening's program. 
“Our kids are growing up in an unforgiving online world. Mistakes on social media can last forever. Phony pages, fake profiles and anonymous users are making it easier than ever for kids to harass and bully. Come learn what you can do to protect your kids online,” she said.
For more information about #icanhelp, visit icanhelpdeletenegativity.org.