REACH Character Education: A Spotlight on Pink Shirt Day and Kindness
Now a movement celebrated across the globe, Pink Shirt Day has humble beginnings. The day was inspired by an act of kindness in small-town Nova Scotia. Two students, David Shepherd and Travis Price organized a high-school protest to wear pink in support of a Grade 9 boy who was being bullied for wearing a pink shirt. Since then, the idea has only grown each year, with worldwide support and participation. Countries across the globe are now organizing anti-bullying fundraisers of their own, including Japan, New Zealand, China, Panama, and numerous others. Last year, people in almost 180 countries shared their support of Pink Shirt Day through social media posts and donations.
On Wednesday, February 23, Rotherglen participated in Pink Shirt Day. Throughout Character Education lessons and activities at each division level, students learned about the origin of Pink Shirt Day. Classes used this week as a time to reflect and review the forms of bullying, statistics related to bullying, and take a look back at our school-wide Anti-Bullying Pledge from the beginning of the year. Students brainstormed ways in which they can demonstrate kindness and take action against bullying including random acts of kindness, speaking up for others who are being bullied, and listening to and learning from one another.
Classes learned about the power of kindness and how one small act can make a big difference. When a person gives or receives kindness, both individuals involved experience a release of feel-good emotions. Individual students reflected on kind words and phrases that can brighten someone’s day. They designed pink t-shirts to display outside of classrooms to promote a culture of kindness and care, and to show others that as a community, we stand up against bullying.