Castlegar schools participate in Pink Shirt Day
All four schools in Castlegar, Castlegar Primary, Kinnaird Elementary, Twin Rivers Elementary, and Stanley Humphries Secondary, took part in Pink Shirt Day by wearing pink to show they are against bullying.
"It's considered anti-bullying," said Geri Bryden, a grade two teacher at Kinnaird Elementary. "It's a day against homophobia. It was started in Nova Scotia five years ago. A young boy wore a pink shirt to school and was laughed at and bullied by some other kids. A group of boys witnessed this and decided the next day they would wear pink shirts in support of this boy."
This year is Kinnaird's third year having Pink Shirt Day. Bryden said it has just got bigger and bigger.
"We see more parents getting on board by purchasing shirts or finding something around the house for the kids to wear," she said. "It's a day to talk about bullying. We talk about it all year long - but this is a day to really recognize it and bring it home."
At SHSS, Pink Shirt Day was a chance for those who have been bullied to feel empowered.
"I think bullying is horrible," said John, a grade 8 student at SHSS. "I've even been bullied. It feels horrible. You get this bad feeling in your stomach and in your head. I just hate it."
William, a grade 11 student at the school, has also experienced bullying first hand.
"Today we remember how bullying effects people," he said. "We wear pink as a reminder. I've been bullied my whole life - more emotionally than physically. I feel actually really sorry for the people that do it. They obviously must have had some kind of trauma in their life that affected why they treat people like that."
Despite being bullied, neither John or William would like to see their bullies harmed in any way.
"I want the bullies to feel they're respected," said William. "I don't think they're respected. This (bullying) is the only way they can get respect from other people through fear."