FORNEY — You don't usually think of a middle school bathroom as a place for inspiration, but teachers at one school in Forney say it's possible to spread positivity anywhere.
The bathroom can be an emotional place in middle school.
"The bathroom, that's where all the gossip happens," said Joshua Garcia, Warren Middle School principal.
"Sometimes it's the place that you run to when you just want to escape, you want to get away from it all," said Kristy Mach, assistant principal.
That's why Warren Middle School teachers are spending their summer painting bathroom stalls with encouraging messages, like "You are amazing, brave and strong," and "Real girls aren't perfect. Perfect girls aren't real."
In the boys bathroom, you'll find messages like "Work hard. Dream big."
"When you walk in, you can't help but smile," said Mach. "Words are powerful."
"We just wanted them to see that everyday," said Garcia. "And know that what is up there is true."
They're truths that nearly 800 students will see every day, in perhaps the most intimate of places.
"Everywhere you look is a canvas," said Mach. "You can spread that positivity anywhere. It's just, how creative can you get?
There's power in that kind of positivity. Almost a month before students return from summer break, word is spreading after the school posted pictures of the bathroom stalls on Facebook.
Now, they say, other schools across the country are asking for tips on how they can do the same.
"It's contagious. Our hope is that they would take what we've done and spread that to others," said Mach.
These teachers believe in it so strongly, they're painting without getting paid.
"Kids are searching for something positive, they're searching for belonging, they're searching for something to hold onto," said Mach.
If the words on the bathroom stalls can be that something, if they can remind students to be brave and dream big, then it's worth it.
"Just trying to make a difference in the world, ultimately," said Garcia.