Broken Pencil

On Our Sleeves Animated Icon What does a broken pencil mean to you?

On Our Sleeves : Broken Pencil

What does a broken pencil mean to you?

Every day, students get out their pencils to start their school day. The snap of a pencil carries so much meaning - anger, frustration, anxiety. That snap might come from the struggle with homework, learning disabilities, bullying, and separation from their parents. At that moment, it’s just too much.

As students face these common challenges, it’s important for them to have support that includes guidance counselors and teachers who will recognize the early signs of bottled frustration and negative feelings before things seem too big to conquer.

If you are a student and things are starting to build up, reach out to a trusted adult. If you’re an adult and see that something just doesn’t seem right with a student, don’t wait for the student to ask for help. Reach out and offer a safe space and support to have a conversation about what might be happening. Show you care.

What does the broken pencil mean to you? Share using #OnOurSleeves.

Related Resources:

See What Other Icons Mean to You

On Our Sleeves Icon Image


For some, the anchor means hope… calm… stability. On the flip side, the anchor can be seen in a negative light.

Learn More

On Our Sleeves Icon Image

Exclamation Point

The exclamation point can mean excitement, surprise or an intense level of happiness for some. But an exclamation point also can have a negative meaning for others.

Learn More

On Our Sleeves Icon Image


Radiant and pretty, the flower is often a sign of happiness.

Learn More

Sign up for behavioral health resources, information and advocacy opportunities.
Join the movement to transform children’s mental health.
On Our Sleeves
Please Give Today

Invest in the future of children's mental health.