Schools and businesses all over Vanderhoof recognized Pink Shirt Day in their own way on Feb. 26.
Evelyn Dickson elementary held an assembly to educate students on bullying and to keep them talking about it which will go a long way towards eradicating it.
Mark Gauthier, principal of EDS, told the students that he wished he could say there wasn’t any bullying in the school, and that it makes him sad that there is.
“It affects everybody,” said Gauthier to the school. “It’s hurtful and it does a lot of damage so it’s really important that we keep on talking about this.”
Bullying is a pattern of unwanted or aggressive behaviour with the goal of hurting or making someone uncomfortable according to Gauthier.
The key part of that is that it is a pattern. It is something that happens over and over. Bullying is different from conflict in that with bullying happens when there’s a difference in power or strength between the two people and conflict is generally when they are equal in power or just a going through a disagreement.
A lot of stress was made on Wednesday at all the schools on being more than a bystander. Studies have shown that if just one person acts or tells someone when they see bullying then it stops soon after.
At W.L. McLeod elementary the whole school turned out to march down Burrard Avenue carrying signs and wearing colourful pink hats and shirts.
Later that night, NVSS held its annual coffee house with a concert band and several local performers who made reference to the anti-bullying spirit of the day.
It was a sea of pink in the small auditorium in NVSS and the night began with performances from young musicians whose small mistakes were politely ignored by the friendly audience.
There was belly-dancing and and a performance by the Apple Chors choir band. Young Patrick Swahee played Piano Man by Billy Joel and the pep band played Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne as well as one of Michael Bublé’s hit songs.
The Pink Shirt idea sprung from two grade nine students in Nova Scotia. David Shepherd and Travis Price wore pink to support one boy who was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. They took a stand by wearing pink themselves and distributing pink shirts to all their friends in a gesture of solidarity.