Thousands of students around VSB schools dressed in pink to show their support for Pink Shirt Day (Feb. 22).
The day dedicated to awareness of bullying started in 2007 when two Nova Scotian students, David Shepherd and Travis Price, bought and distributed 50 pink shirts around their school to support a fellow student who was being bullied for wearing a pink shirt.
Pink Shirt Day 2017 was marked in different ways in Vancouver schools.
After an assembly sharing messages of acceptancy and inclusiveness, 1,400 students from Kitsilano Secondary paraded five blocks down Broadway wearing pink and carrying banners with messages of love. The parade, organized by the school's Pride Club and Link Crew, received honks of support from passing cars.
David Livingstone Elementary published its Mannequin Challenge video to promote a message of acceptance and at Point Grey Secondary a video created by drama students about the effects of bullying was shared with students in an assembly.
Queen Mary Elementary was a sea of pink as students participated in activities to support the learning they do all year to build a caring community. The school PAC arranged for UBC researcher Jessica Trach to explain how the school community can all be strong 'super heroes' who stand up to bullying behaviour. After the kindergarten students sang a song in Cantonese and English, and the older students shared a thoughtful poem, the whole school headed outside for a Pink Shirt Day photo and skipping activities.
"All our Queen Mary students and staff have shown that together we can be a kind and accepting community," said principal Hugh Blackman. "Positive energy was in the air at Queen Mary."
At Magee Secondary, the Humanitarian Organization for Providing Empowerment (H.O.P.E.) Club put sticky notes with over a thousand different messages of kindness and encouragement on all student lockers, a simple act that positively engaged all the students in conversations. The students also had a chance to show off their pink shirts in a photo booth at lunch.
McKechnie Elementary has had a month of creating and displaying posters of friendship and kindness. The Humanitarian Club promoted kindness around the school and each class produced hearts of care. On Pink Shirt Day, the students assembled to enjoy presentations from fellow McKechnie students and a school group picture.
The kindergarten class at Walter Moberley Elementary painted their own shirts with the words "Kind Thoughts. Kind Words. Kind Actions."
The student council at Prince of Wales Secondary made names tag for all staff and students, which they taped to the wall in no order. The idea was for students and staff to see all the other names while they looked for their own and think about the diversity displayed in the names and grades.
"It is a great exercise," said principal Dave Derpak. "You wear your name all day so people put a name to a face and we are no longer strangers."
Read more: Joyfully pink: Van Tech students celebrate Pink Shirt Day
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