Across the city pink shirts were donned to stand up to bullying. Pink Shirt Day is celebrated across the country as a day to denounce bullying and be kind to one another.
In the public school division, students wore shirts of pink, many with the slogan “Kindness Wins” in support of the Kindness Wins campaign. Katie Smith, a grade three student at Rendell Park Elementary School, thinks it’s important to wear pink on this day. She says that kindness is important, and to her, it means helping each other.
“If people get bullied, then they should speak up and tell them to stop, and say if you keep doing that, I’ll tell my teacher or parents or someone I know who will help me through this,” says Smith.
Stephen Hager, a grade 6 student at Rendell Park Elementary School, also wore pink today. He wore a Kindness Wins shirt as a way to stand up to bullying. To him, kindness can something you can feel as well as something you can share.
“I feel like it could be an emotion and a characteristic, but I feel like it’s also something you can share with someone to make their day better. And it can keep passing on to more people,” says Hager.
Kammy Chocan is part of student services at Rendell Park Elementary and does a lot of social and emotional programming with the school. Chocan has helped set up lots of the programming for the day, including presentations from the Lloydminster Sexual Assault and Information Centre to help teach the kids the difference between a “mean” interaction and bullying.
Presentations were also shown by the Lloydminster Interval Home regarding kindness and friendship. Students from the LCHS Red Cross program also came to present about interpersonal relationships and anti-bullying ideas. On top of showing it’s not just parents and teachers spreading the message, Chocan hopes the kids take home the reality that kindness is better than hate.
“I really do hope they take home that kindness wins. Kindness really, really does beat hate, and an ger, and all the other things that are an unfortunate part of our world,” says Chocan.
Mayor Gerald Aalbers and city council wore their shirts at this week’s council meeting. He and city council believe the movement is important in spreading the message of kindness. Aalbers says that the reminder to be kind is important not just in the schoolyard, but in the workplace and beyond.
“It’s a very important day. I think the whole message why kindness matters, why we need to stop bullying, is prominent throughout the community. It often is seen in schoolyards, but it also happens in workplaces, homes, recreation facilities and throughout the city. I think it’s important that we take a stand on that, and that’s what we’re doing,” says Aalbers.