Valentine's Day Comes Early to Gentry Middle School

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COLUMBIA - Valentine's Day came early for students at Gentry Middle School Thursday. Students came to school and got an unexpected surprise - a valentine note on every locker.

The note simply stated, "You Are Loved."

Students did not know who the cupid culprit was because she wanted to remain anonymous. The student's mother, Linda, who didn't want to reveal her last name, said her daughter got the idea at the beginning of February and began working on the notes every week, and during the snow days.

Linda said Valentine's Day is an important day for her family, because it's all about showing love and appreciation for each other. Her daughter originally wanted to do something special for two of her school friends, but soon changed her mind and decided everyone in school should feel special.

Sixth grader Maddie Orr said,"I didn't think it was going to be anything really different, and when I came to school and saw them on the locker I was surprised."

About 843 students attend Gentry Middle School and there were valentines not only on student lockers, but on office staff doors and classroom doors as well. David Laughlin, assistant administrator, said roughly 1,000 valentine notes were spread throughout the school.

Thursday morning the anonymous student had the choice to come into the office and reveal her identity, but she didn't. The school required permission in order for her to come into the school after hours and deliver the valentine notes, and on Wednesday night she came into the school and got to work.

There is no school on Friday due to it being a teacher work day, so this is why the students received them Thursday. Orr said if she had the chance to meet the anonymous St. Valentine, she would like to thank them for actually caring about the students and everyone in the school.

"It just feels good to be loved by others," she said.

Addie Logsdon, an eighth grader, said the act of kindness sends out a good anti-bullying message because it shows people that they're special and other people like them even if they don't like themselves.

It is the first time administrator Laughlin has seen something like this done at Gentry.