Pink Day (Erase Bullying Focus Day) was an amazing learning opportunity for Selkirk Elementary students and their big buddies at Gladstone. On February 26th, members of the Selkirk Student Leadership Team undertook a number of planned activities.
The day began outside where tables were set up on the grounds and almost all of the school's 675 students dropped by to receive pink day stickers, bracelets, and even nail polish. These gifts were accompanied by strong messages and reminders to keep Selkirk bully-free.
The student team then facilitated two assemblies - primary and intermediate - in which they focussed upon teaching their fellow students what bullying looks like, how it hurts others emotionally and breaks down community and respect for diversity, and the importance of bystanders taking action.
The school leaders spoke of the risk factors involved in incidents of bullying, positive strategies to promote inclusion of those who might find themselves marginalized, and even shared profiles of famous people who had been victims of bullying but were able to overcome it (through their own actions and the actions of others).
"Our leadership team has been amazing in its efforts to reach out to the student population," says Doug Roch, Vice Principal. "We are fortunate to have over 80 students on the team, and a number of amazing teacher-facilitators. Seeing students teaching students in this way is inspirational!"
Later in the day, hundreds of students from Gladstone Secondary, organized by Leadership Teacher Fawn Ngo, marched to Selkirk and led Selkirk students in a "students against bullying" chant.
Darrell Cavanagh, Selkirk Principal, and Doris Sandri, Gladstone Vice Principal, used a megaphone to rally the groups of students and to provide additional messages with a pro-diversity theme, to the cheers of at least 600 students assembled on the field and others looking out of open windows.
Throughout the day students reminded one another that Pink Day isn't a one-day-a-year activity, but a theme that needs to be present every day.