Samammish teen's 'be nice' video message resonates with many

SAMMAMISH, Wash. -- When someone posted an online threat against Skyline High School, a "common gut-wrenching feeling of fear" rippled through the halls," according to student Jake Barokas.

"The writer said he was going to open fire on the commons in the morning," said Barokas.

The threat prompted the school district to cancel a full day of school. With fear mounting, Barokas decided to do something about it -- create a video to counter those feelings.

"(I thought,) 'How can we bring something positive out of this? What can we do to take the edge off?"' said Barokas.

And it came to him: "It was kind of like an enlightenment, and it can be summed up in two words: Be Nice. Be Nice. That's it."

Barokas is not alone in this way of thinking.

"As a whole, I feel like this school is not that stereotypically mean or anything. But I was ashamed when I heard reports that we were, and I feel like we've come out on top, and better," said student Christina Black.

"I think it would be nice if he (the suspect) talked with somebody about it, like if someone did something for him about it," said Sadie Luther, another student.

Barokas' video addresses the feeling of alienation that may fuel anger: "It might be a death in the family, or a sibling going to college, or a bad grade on a test, an emotional break up or an abusive parent -- the feeling of being a social outcast."

And it appears the message has resonated in many people across the country.

"The reception's just been amazing and I'm glad that that message has touched people," said Barokas, who says he has heard from hundreds of students he doesn't even know. And some high schools across the country have told Barokas that they are sharing his video in class.

"The smallest things really make a difference -- saying hi, inviting someone somewhere, asking how someone's day is. Those can really hit you hard in a good way," said Barokas.

Tips have led police to zero in on a teen suspected of making the threat. The Edmonds teen and former Skyline student faced a judge on Wednesday. Investigators say the 16-year-old may also be behind a similar threat made against Meadowdale High School in Lynnwood in April.