The message is loud and pink.
Today, local elementary and secondary schools are banding together by wearing pink to send a message of awareness that bullying hurts and won’t be tolerated in schools.
The colour of the pink shirt is based on a campaign started in 2006, when two Nova Scotia Grade 12 students stood up for a Grade 9 boy, who was being bullied for wearing a pink polo shirt on the first day of school.
That day, the students, David Shepherd and Travis Price, went to a nearby discount store and bought 50 pink shirts to wear to school the next day.
Then the two went online to email classmates and get them on board with their anti-bullying cause that they dubbed “sea of pink.”
The following day, dozens of students outfitted in the discount tees showed up in support, as did hundreds of students wearing their own pink clothes.
Glenmerry Elementary will be a sea of pink as grade 5, 6 and 7 students were given a pink T-shirt to wear in an assembly that will focus on “taking a stand,” and the harms of name-calling, said principal Patrick Audet.
St Michael’s Catholic Elementary School has encouraged its Grade 7 leaders to facilitate an assembly today.
“The students will demonstrate WITS (walk away, ignore, talk it out, seek help),” said principal Julia Mason. “As well, they will demonstrate the “tug of help,” which encourages bystanders to act and intervene when bullying occurs.”
For students at Rossland Secondary School (RSS), everyday is anti-bullying day, said Annie Cameron, RSS Grade 12 student.
“We acknowledge February 27 with pink T-shirts and bracelets,” she said “But we don’t go all out because we address the issue each day, so kids feel safe everyday at RSS.”
The students at J.L. Crowe in Trail are raising awareness of all forms of bullying by wearing pink, and making a personal pledge today.
“The personal “pledge to not bully,” will be available to the entire student body,” said teacher Terry Jones
The students will take the pledge by tracing their hand and signing a big piece of paper in the foyer at lunch. By taking the pledge, students are raising awareness of bullying, and hoping to stop it.
However, bullying isn’t always physical, and on Tuesday, Alicia McCoid, Grade 12 student at Crowe, spoke of its quieter form.
“Its not always something you see,” she said.
“Sometimes it’s the things you hear, like hurtful rumours and gossip.”
McCoid said that sometimes it is hard to know if it bullying because the words and actions may be between friends.
“But it is always good to step in and take a stand.’