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Joyfully pink: Van Tech students celebrate Pink Shirt Day

Vancouver Technical students and staff celebrated Pink Shirt Day by filling a hallway with pink cards of appreciation to each other.

Messages included pledges of friendship, expressions of gratitude, and even 'promposals' - invitations to prom.

"This project is about being positive, instead of being negative," said one of the seven Grade 8 organizers of the school event, Riya Wang.

The student organizers and their counselor spent the evening before the day dedicated to bullying awareness carefully lining a hallway with hundreds of pink cards, each filled with a message of appreciation written by a student, addressed to another student.

For the group of Grade 8 student organizers, the pink card celebration was a step towards gently countering social gender norms with gratitude. Finding people in their lives to express appreciation for was not hard.

Student Julianne Leung said she wrote five cards thanking friends for being there when she needed it the most, while Stephanie Dong said she wrote to let her friends know how much they mattered in her life.

Filling the hallway with messages of gratitude was a positive experience for the students. "I learned to appreciate everyone in my life and be more positive," said student Vivian Chow.

For these messengers of joy, eradicating bullying from high-school hallways is a definite possibility. "We can help each other, talk to each other, and make friends," said student Chia Naito.

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