Sherwood Park, AB. — Today, students and staff throughout Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) are donning pink shirts to raise awareness around bullying as part of the 15th annual Pink Shirt Day.
Pink Shirt Day is an annual event to promote kindness, healthy relationships and bullying prevention in schools. The movement is inspired by an event that took place in Nova Scotia in 2007, when two high school students witnessed a younger student being bullied for wearing a pink shirt. The next day, the two students handed out 50 pink t-shirts to classmates to demonstrate their united stand against bullying. Since then, the concept has spread to schools across the country.
“In a year that has been difficult for so many, it’s important to show students how far their acts of kindness can go,” says Trina Boymook, the Board Chair of EIPS. “In addition to standing up to bullies, this day teaches students to lift each other up and offer help to their peers who might be struggling.”
Throughout EIPS, various socially distanced activities have been planned to carry on the spirit of the day in a safe way. A few of these include:
- Students at Rudolph Hennig Junior High took small pink paper shirt cut-outs and wrote about acts of kindness they’ve undertaken in the past week and displayed them for the school to read.
- Glen Allen Elementary ran a pink t-shirt design contest, with the winning designs chosen by school council, staff and students.
- Wes Hosford Elementary created a beautiful kindness garden in the hallway with paper hearts imparting kind sentiments.
- Lamont High will award lunch to the classroom wearing the most pink clothes and accessories.
- Bev Facey High is posting anti-bullying videos on social media and on in-school televisions, covering the inside of the school with “Wear Pink” posters and inviting students to share their own photos on Instagram and Twitter.
But of course, kindness isn’t just a one-day affair. Schools across the Division carry on these kinds of lessons throughout the year through ongoing projects like the Seven Scared Teachings, Random Acts of Kindness, The Fourth R, Bucketfillers, Leader in Me and various community-service programs.
“All students should feel safe and cared for whether they’re in school or learning from home,” says Boymook. “Our world is becoming increasingly digitized, and even if we’re not sharing a physical space, it’s still important to learn how to build positive relationships and express kindness. Even small actions or words of compassion can go a long way towards making students feel welcome and valued in the classroom.”
As schools are not open to visitors this year, please contact EIPS directly for more information on specific Pink Shirt Day activities, or for photos of this year’s events. You can also learn more about how Pink Shirt Day is being celebrated worldwide by searching the hashtag #PinkShirtDay on various social media sites.
Elk Island Public Schools is one of Alberta’s largest school divisions, serving approximately 17,100 students in 43 schools. We are proud to be an integral part of our communities, including Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Vegreville, Strathcona and Lamont counties and the western portion of the County of Minburn.
For more information contact:
Laura McNabb, director, Communication Services, EIPS 780-417-8204 cell 780-405-4902