Not all hero’s wear capes, as proved by students yesterday at Kindersley’s Westberry Elementary School, who put on their best pink shirt to bring awareness to bullying prevention during the annual Pink Day celebration.
Pink Day, or anti-bullying day, started when two boys from Nova Scotia decided to stand up against bullying by reportedly purchasing and distributing 50 pink shirts after one of their male peers was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. Since that act of heroism in 2007, Pink Day has grown to be worldwide event advocating for students to stand up against bullying, while providing education and awareness.
Lisa Kirtzinger, Grade 2 teacher at Westberry Elementary, said although Pink Day is a great day aimed at awareness, they look to teach their students year-round about bullying, unkind choices and how to deal with each.
“Bullying is a repeated search for power and use words and actions to make others feel smaller than them, where an unkind choice isn’t intended at being hurtful towards the other person, could have just been an oversight or a poor choice of words or an action,” said Kirtzinger.
Within each scenario, they teach the kids to not always assume the role of the victim and to constructively think of a solution to the particular issue at hand. “There is also a difference between tattling and telling on someone, tattling is generally intended to get someone in trouble, where telling is to inform someone of a situation that needs attention,” added Kirtzinger.
Kelso the frog is a method that the school uses to help students with embodying a solution-based mindset. Kelso’s choices include nine different options that help students think of and try, different solutions for various scenarios. Kirtzinger said that they often like the students to try two of the nine choices on their own before others are brought in to provide a solution. Of course however, depending on the situation, staff is always there to intervene if needed.
“We think it’s important not only to teach and encourage the students to make kind choices, but to also equip them with the knowledge and to empower themselves to be able handle situations that, if are coming up now, are likely going to come up again later in life, and it’s important to know how to navigate those situations,” said Kitzinger.
All week the students have been brainstorming ways to become someone’s hero, the theme surrounding Pink Day. Kitzinger said they have been writing, drawing and sharing with each other about all the ways you can be someone’s hero, not just at school, but also at home and playing with friends or in other settings as well.
According to Red Cross, more than 56,000 people participated in Red Cross in 2018. Westberry Elementary is just one of many schools in the region that are raising awareness about bullying by celebrating Pink Day 2019.