(Pictured above: Students at Westminster Public School stood up against bullying on Wednesday by celebrating Pink Shirt Day.)
UCDSB Students Celebrate Pink Shirt Day
February 23, 2017 (Brockville, ON) – A wave of pink swept across the Upper Canada District School Board Wednesday, drawing attention to the need for kindness in our schools and workplaces.
Students dressed in pink shirts, pants and other clothing to celebrate Pink Shirt Day, a national anti-bullying day held annually on February 22nd. The campaign is designed to inspire kindness and respect in our daily lives. It began a decade ago when students at a Nova Scotia high school organized their peers to wear pink clothing after discovering a student had been bullied for wearing a pink shirt. Since then the idea has grown into a nationwide fundraising and awareness campaign. Since 2008, Pink Shirt Day events across Canada have generated $1.5 million for anti-bullying programs.
“We want to be kind and make the world a better place,” said Charlotte, a Grade 3 student of why she and her peers at Brockville’s Westminster Public School continue to think about, plan for and observe Pink Shirt Days. “We want students to feel safe so they can learn.”
Superintendent David Coombs said the importance of creating that environment of safety and care is a reason why schools throughout the board participate.
“Pink Shirt Day is a reminder that all children need support and care, and that we, as an organization, are committed to building a safe, welcoming environment for all,” he said.
While Westminster Principal Amanda Nieman was pleased with her school’s participation, she stressed it’s only part of a larger effort by the school and Board to ensure that a kind, supportive environment is the norm in our schools.
"Acknowledging and participating in days like Pink Shirt Day and International Day of Pink are so important, but really the motivation and lessons we’re trying to help kids come to in their learning is that these days are just a symbol of how we need to be interacting with one another every single day,” said Nieman.
Nieman stressed the learning will continue at Westminster. Her students are planning and organizing a Kindness Campaign this spring, in which student voice will drive school action around concepts like valuing others and treating others with kindness and respect. The students are planning to host visitors from the community to discuss the importance of kindness and character. Students will also initiate communication campaigns, challenges and fundraisers for various charities. Students at Westminster have been challenged to use their voices to impact positive change in their world- both locally and globally.
Posted February 23rd, 2017