Friday, February 20, 2009

PINK SHIRT DAY Wednesday 25 February - Bullying Stops Here

All decked in pink for a good cause. This is what I will be wearing on Wednesday. As I work in a Primary school, it is my stand against bullying. I have had students bullied because of the colour of their skin, their religion, minority group and so on.
My school is encouraging children and staff to wear pink.
We have a serious problem with bullying in NZ schools. In December last year a major international report ranked New Zealand second worst among 37 countries when it comes to bullying in primary schools.
Last year an escalation of physical violence and emotional bullying in schools sparked a major investigation by the children's commissioner, Cindy Kiro, amid increasing concerns about pupil safety.
This year a number of educational groups will highlight the fact that bullying is something we cannot ignore, by taking part in New Zealand's first Pink Shirt Day.

Pink Shirt Day is a way for the community to stand up and show that bullying is not okay.

SS4Q* and teacher unions NZEI Te Riu Roa and PPTA Te Wehengarua are joining forces to make our schools safe for ALL students, by romoting February 25 as Pink Shirt Day.

The first Pink Shirt Day took place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, when two 17 year old high school students decided to stand up for a friend who had been harassed for wearing a pink shirt to school.

The boys, David Shepherd and Travis Price, decided that the bullying had to stop. They went to a discount store and bought 50 pink tank tops, sent out the message to schoolmates that night, and the next morning handed them to students to wear. When the bullied boy walked in, according to Travis Price, "It looked like a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders. The bullies were never heard from again."

Bullying is a serious issue in New Zealand schools that will only grow if it is ignored.

Recent events reported in our papers have ranged from students being beaten unconscious, students suffering injuries requiring hospitalisation, students being humiliated on the internet and bullied via text message, to sudden and tragic deaths of victims.

These are just the incidents that have reached the press – the 1/10th of the iceberg that is visible above the water.

More must be done to stop this physical and emotional violence and make our schools safe for all of our young people to learn in. One way we can do this is for the community to stand up and show that bullying is not OK. Schools cannot solve these problems alone.

You can help make Pink Shirt day a success. Wear something PINK on 25
February .

The pink shirt day slogan is BULLYING STOPS HERE

SS4Q is a national network working towards making schools safer for queer young people. It consists of representatives from a range of organisations, and a number of individuals from the
GLBTI communities, academics and other interested people.
More about Pink Shirt Day:
I posted this article to another writers' website and here are some comments.
Here are the messages that had just been posted:

That's a good cause. I hope more people hear about it and follow NZs lead. G
If I had a pink shirt, I would be wearing it tomorrow 
A very worthy cause indeed, and perhaps a good way to single out the bullies and subject them to a little of their own discomfort. Personally I'm in favour of smacking down all bullies, and would have few qualms about doing it myself if opportunity arose. But pink shirts are a nice, nonviolent alternative

Writingwise, very neat! Can't fault you a bit for style or grammar. W

In an article I recently read about color therapy, a clinical psychologist advocates using pink to quiet agression.
The article indicated the color pink (Baker-Miller pink) physically reduces aggressive behavior within minutes. And because of this find, many jails and prisons now have pink holding cells. The color pink decreases the need to restrain inmates with force or sedative medication.

Whoever came up with the idea about "Pink Shirt Day" must have known a thing or two about color therapy. Cheers to that person. S

Thank you all, Thanks Shelly about the Pink resreach.
I just remembered, 24 years ago, I delivered my first child at National Women's hospital in Auckland, New Zealand. They just renovated a Pink Room for mums who already had babies. There was no theatre atmosphere. I didn't qualify because it was my first birth.


EG CameraGirl said...

I had no idea New Zealand has such a problem with bullying. It's a terrible problem everywhere and wearing pink sounds like a good way to protest it. I'd like to know why kids are treating each other so badly. There HAS to be a reason!

amyinbc said...

I am delighted to read that the Pink Shirt Campaign started in Canada. Makes me proud to be a Canadian who just celebrated Pink Shirt Day!

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

It was fantastic that the parents supported this cause. 75% of a co-ed school children wore pink that day. All the teachers wore pink to show the community that bullying stops here.

Fernanda Ferreira - Ná said...

Hi Ann,
As you know I am an English teacher as well...I better say, I was till last Scholl year. Presently I am mainly teaching Portuguese to British adults, and I have a single student to whom I give English lessons.
The bullying between students coupled with the total impotence of teachers was responsible for my decision of quitting.
The PINK SHIRT DAY was a excellent idea, but honestly I don't think it would have worked here...unfortunately this has gone too far, and respect is a word long lost in our schools.
Hopefully not yet everywhere, keep on the good work.

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

I have only very small groups for my English as a second langauge class, so I am able to give them attention. My school motto is RESPECT. When kids talk when another is talking, I tell them they are not respecting the kid who is talking. But then, my maximum is 5, usually I have 3 or 4 kids in my sessions.

NZ passed the no smacking law last year, I don't know if this is good.

The above just happened. Shocking