Palliser marks Pink Shirt Day

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Students put compliments on sticky notes up around the Menno Simons Christian School as part of Pink Shirt Day.

CALGARY – Pink Shirt Day has come a long ways from its origins at a small Nova Scotia high school more than a decade ago. Over the years it has become synonymous with the anti-bullying movement and that message is now recognized far beyond Canada’s borders.

Given its popularity, Vice-Principal Meghan Brown says it’s important Pink Shirt Day is more than just a slogan to students at Menno Simons Christian School.

Rather than passing along the message at a school-wide assembly, she asked teachers to try and work anti-bullying themes into the curriculum wherever possible.

“We wanted to make sure the students, if we asked them, could tell us why they were wearing a pink shirt and what they could do to promote good deeds,” says Brown, who helped co-ordinate classroom resources for the teachers. “We wanted them to focus on the fact that ‘yes, we are wearing pink shirts as solidarity, for sure.’ But does that make us good people? Not necessarily.”

Students in English class were asked to come up with verbs and adjectives to be included in sentences about bullying. Those in the humanities could look at bullying in the context of things like residential schools.

Pink Shirt Day also fit in well with the school’s chapel theme of “The Upside-Down Kingdom," as it advocates for children to quit trying to fit in to be cool.

“The Upside Down Kingdom promotes the idea that Jesus always stood up for the outsiders, the losers, the ones that were ‘not cool,’ and that we should be trying to do the same,” she says.

Some classes made posters, while all students were asked to jot down compliments on sticky notes and place them around the school so those in need of boost could see them.

“We didn’t do anything too wild; we just wanted the students to realize that little random acts of kindness can go a long ways,” Brown says.

Whether it’s Pink Shirt Day or Orange Shirt Day or some other occasion being celebrated at Menno Simons – one of Palliser Regional Schools’ faith-based alternative programs – she tells students it’s really about “living your truth.”

“We want them to recognize you still have to be kind without your pink shirt on,” says Brown, adding the school may look at implementing a random act of kindness day each week of the school year.

Schools across Palliser marked Pink Shirt Day through a variety of activities. See images below from some of those events shared by our schools.