Vanderhoof – February 29 marked the day of the annual national anti-bullying awareness campaign called Pink Shirt Day. Students from across the country are encouraged to wear pink shirts to school to make a stand against bullying in our schools and community.
Pink Shirt Day started in Nova Scotia in 2007 by a couple of male students who witnessed a fellow male student being bullied for wearing a pink shirt on the first day of school. They used the internet and word of mouth to get students to wear pink to school the next day. It worked, and the bullies got the message and were silenced.
Students and staff at WL McLeod Elementary got on board for Pink Shirt Day. The McLeod Parent Advisory Council (PAC) bought pink shirts for everyone at McLeod.
The teachers and students spent the days leading up to the day decorating their shirts with their own anti-bullying message such as “Bullying stinks” “Nice is priceless” and “Do not bully anywhere in the world”.
These were just some of the hundreds of messages created by Kindergarten to Gr. 7 students at McLeod. The atmosphere at the assembly was very positive, with over 250 people filling the gym to create a sea of pink.
The gym was silent as principal Libby Hart read the story about how Pink Shirt Day began, and then reminded students about what bullying is and how to stop it from happening. Her thoughtful speech was followed by all the Grade 6 and 7 students singing (in voice and sign language) a powerful anti-bullying song to the rest of the school. The performance brought tears to the eyes of teachers, parents and students.
The message was loud and clear at McLeod School on Pink Shirt Day – bullying isn’t tolerated here or anywhere.