For all the messages of anti-bullying and anti-violence spread on Pink Shirt Day, the movement is also one of positivity.
On Wednesday, which is Pink Shirt Day in B.C., Lambrick Park secondary students will attempt to fill a clothesline with positive notes written on heart-shaped cutouts. And yes, they’ll be pink. The goal is to have hundreds lining the entire length of the hall outside the library.
Lambrick’s Gay Straight Alliance, made up of 12 students, will host the Pink Shirt station outside of the library, where the clothesline will temporarily hang.
“It’s my first time leading Pink Shirt Day so it’s been exciting,” said Eryn Gaunt, co-leader of Lambrick’s GSA.
“The actual pink shirts order has come in and we have new pink stickies from SD61 too, so it’s great to have everything coming together.”
Gay-Straight or LGBTQ alliances are fairly new in Greater Victoria and it should be no surprise Lambrick’s is at the heart of a student-led initiative for Pink Shirt Day.
Lambrick’s GSA has a particularly rich history as former student Caitlin Doherty started the school’s first GSA five years ago. She also helped create the Love is Love conference that’s become a biannual event (every two years), hosted at Oak Bay High on Friday (Feb. 23). This week Lambrick also hosted the monthly district meeting of high school GSAs, which brings together the leaders from each high school GSA.
At Reynolds, Pink Shirt Day has become an institution, with Pink Shirt Day originator Travis Price visiting last year (he spoke at Mount Douglas for Pink Shirt Day in 2016).
Between 11 and 1: 30 p.m. on Wednesday Reynolds’ 50-person choir will sing at the legislature with a spoken word performance by Victoria Croden. At that time two students from Reynolds, Croden and Allie Nurse, and two from Cedar Hill, Olivia Crossley and Keelin McNeil, will receive an in-hand, anti-bullying proclamation from the Premier.
Reynolds students will also go into the community, as the dance troupe will visit elementary schools to perform and a Pink Shirt Day presentation is also scheduled for Quadra elementary.
“It’s a growing movement, I keep hearing how much more is happening out there,” said Reynolds’ Heather Benson, who helps co-ordinate that school’s initiatives. “And it’s great to see how much younger the involved students are.”
In-house Reynolds, for their part, take the community connection of Pink Shirt Day to the next level with anti-bullying pledges (between 1,400 to 1,600 again this year) lining a section of the school walls. They also bring their paper T-shirts to Cedar Hill and Arbutus middle schools to encourage those students to sign their names on the big shirts.
Lakehill elementary’s Grade 5 leadership students are running their first ever Kindness Campaign. Students will be at Saanich Centre (Quadra and McKenzie) from 12:30 and 2 p.m. on Feb. 28 to hand out cookies and spread the message on the importance of being kind to one another.