OSSEO, Minn. - The bullies of yesterday teased kids in hallways and on playgrounds, but today, mean kids hide under the mask of social media. One Osseo High School senior had enough, when he saw classmates taunted on Twitter.
Seventeen-year-old Kevin Curwick, one of the football team's captains, decided he could no longer sit on the sidelines when online bullying became a spectator sport in his school.
"I wasn't personally attacked but it just hit me the wrong way, these were coming out about my friends. I want them to feel welcomed, be happy about what they are and what they contribute to Osseo," he said.
So he quietly made his own Twitter account, logging on to lift spirits. @OsseoNiceThings singles out students for their gifts.
"She is so good at dancing, she gets more scholarships than D1 athletes," he tweeted about a girl attacked on another account.
"Doesn't get enough credit for his effort, Michael Day," said Curwick, who anonymously wrote about his football teammate. "He's a genuine guy works hard on and off the field, he's just a great guy to know."
He called another student, a "great artist, but even better friend."
But unlike the bullies, Curwick decided to step out from anonymity.
"He is a dream kid to have on your team, with a 4.0, a community leader, does everything like that. To find a kid that can be strong enough to take the other angle. Very mature of Kevin to do something like that and hopefully it catches on, even if kids think it is hokey, that's ok," said his coach, Darren Lamker.
Similar pages have now popped up around Twitter, spreading to other schools around the suburbs.
@ChanhassenNice praises soccer stars and class clowns. @ChaskaNice compliments a student's freckles, and @MinnetonkaNice has more than 1,000 followers.
Curwick says since the @OsseoNiceThings page started in late July, the accounts attacking his classmates have disappeared.
Students like Michael Day just learned it was his friend Kevin who made kindness go viral.
"Made my day," said Day, who says he's inspired to post positive messages himself. "I might tweet, great character, great leader, Kevin Curwick makes the school better."
His coach agreed, saying it's another reason why he made Curwick a team captain for the upcoming season, for bravely showing his school that a nice guy can win.
(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)