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Students across WSD donned bright t-shirts to make a united front against bullying during Pink Shirt Day 2016.
The Feb. 24 event had students undertaking a wide variety of anti-bullying and school-community building activities.
At St. John’s High School, the student group 21 Leaders organized a Pink Week that included a pink-pancake breakfast on the 24th.
Students also sold pink ice cream and painted their nails pink. The purpose of the activities was to create a sense of community and camaraderie where students can share their concerns if they should arise.
“You want to be comfortable if you’re new to a school and you want to know someone is there for you if you need it, whether someone is bullying you on the internet or physically,” said student Krancheska Macusi.
Fellow student Jaron Yakimishyn said the 21 Leaders program, which started last year, was a way to students to create that sort of environment year-round: “We think we can make a difference.”
Meanwhile, Lord Selkirk School kicked off a full day of activities with a special assembly that included a performance by Western Canadian Music Award winners Sweet Alibi and a Pink Cheer by school staff. School Resource Officer Vern Novalkowski and Cst. Christina Bergen from the Winnipeg Police Service also joined students, staff and parents for the event.
Students also discussed the school’s Diversity Pledge. The pledge states “At Lord Selkirk we treat each other as we would want to be treated ourselves. We motivate our community by embracing everyone equally and accepting all people for who they are. We increase our knowledge of diversity by keeping an open line of conversation with all people.”
The pledge was created by a group of Lord Selkirk students that attended an “Everybody has the Right” human rights conference at St. John’s earlier this school year.
“They did some very special work,” said Principal Stormie Duchnycz regarding the Lord Selkirk human rights ambassadors that attended the conference. “It’s all about being fair, being kind and treating each other the way we would like to be treated.”
Students also took part in cooperative gym games, a pink-themed door-decorating contest, a photo-fun booth and left kind messages on pink sheets of paper for a special pledge wall.