Pink Shirt Day a symbol of anti-bullying

February 26, 2016


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Student hand tracings at Spruce Ridge Community School (Durham)

It was an invasion of ‘pink’ in schools throughout Bluewater District School Board for Pink Shirt Day on Wednesday, February 24th as students and staff came together to recognize the importance of standing up to eliminate all forms of bullying. Bluewater schools are active year round when it comes to raising anti-bullying awareness, though Pink Shirt Day is often seen as a key highlight.

Pink Shirt Day originated in Nova Scotia in 2007 following an incident at a school where a grade 9 male student wearing a pink shirt was bullied. Two other male students, who had witnessed and were disturbed by this behavior, took decisive action by purchasing 50 pink shirts to be distributed at the school to their peers the next day. The strategy was a powerful one, not only in preventing the bullying from reoccurring, but also in gaining recognition from the province’s premier and eventually becoming a worldwide phenomenon through the establishment of Pink Shirt Day.

Here are just a few examples of Pink Shirt Day 2016 activities and awareness in Bluewater District School Board:

Everyone at Alexandra Community School in Owen Sound was encouraged to wear pink. The Me to We group also sold pink T-shirts and cookies depicting gingerbread men in pink shirts as a fundraiser.

 Egremont Community School in Holstein had its most successful Pink Shirt Day to date with over 60 percent of students participating by sporting pink.

Pink was the colour of fashion at Dundalk & Proton Community School. Kindergarten students wore pink shirts and made signs with pink construction paper to practice their writing skills.

There was lots of student and staff participation at Spruce Ridge Community School in Durham. During homeroom, all students were tasked with tracing their hands for a message that was then displayed on a bulletin board to symbolize everyone standing together in support of anti-bullying.

At Macphail Memorial Elementary School in Flesherton, grade 1/2 students adorned the halls with pink shirts describing how much ‘Kindness Counts’. Grade 3/4 shared a message about standing up for what you believe in, and also performed the Rosa Parks Dance as part of their learning about Black History Month. The students in grade 4/5 promoted the concept of ‘Growth Mindset’ versus ‘Fixed Mindset’ by sharing some of their classroom work. To start the daily assembly, the Me to We crew explained the significance of Pink Shirt Day and how everyone plays a part in ensuring Macphail is a bully-free zone. In the coming weeks, students who demonstrate random acts of kindness will be celebrated for their positive influence.

The Anti-bullying Committee at Osprey Central School in Maxwell celebrated Pink Shirt Day by selling Kindness Kookies. The proceeds from the sales will go towards the purchase of a buddy bench.

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At Beavercrest Communty School in Markdale, members of the Owen Sound Attack visited on Thursday, February 25th to speak about the importance of working hard and persevering when things get hard in order to fulfill your dreams. This was followed by a game of floor hockey with the Student Council to demonstrate cooperation and teamwork.

Students and staff of Huron Heights Public School in Kincardine wore pink to take a stand against bullying and to promote kindness and acceptance. Students are always striving to maintain a safe and inclusive environment where everyone has the opportunity to feel supported and good about themselves. On Pink Shirt Day, the students from the developmental learning room baked and sold over 275 pink frosted cookies to the staff and their peers. The money raised will go towards anti-bullying initiatives around the school. It was amazing to see so many Lightening Hawks in solidarity, wearing pink and taking a pledge to be kind and to treat each other with respect.

A global initiative for Pink Shirt Day 2016 was the use of the hashtag #PinkItForward. Social media users were encouraged to highlight someone special by tagging them in a post, which included the person’s photo and a brief comment explaining their specialness. The special recipient was then asked to #PinkItForward by doing the same for someone else. For every such post on Pink Shirt Day, $1 was donated to support anti-bullying programs.  

Dawnview Public School students in their 'pinkwear' (Hanover) 

Visit www.pinkshirtday.ca  for more information.

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Friday, February 26, 2016