Kamloops schools think pink in an effort to stop bullying

By Jill Sperling
February 22, 2017 - 5:30pm

KAMLOOPS — February 22 is Pink Shirt Day. 

The anti-bullying campaign started in Nova Scotia in 2007, and has quickly spread across the country. 

In Kamloops, students took part in a number of anti-bullying initiatives. 

Westmount Elementary was a sea of pink, from pink shirts to pink lemonade. Name tags were also worn to encourage students to say 'hey' to one another. 

It was all an effort to stand up against bullying. 

"Students are generally kind," said Westmount Elementary leadership intern Kim Edstrom, "they want to do their best, and with a little guidance and support we can often achieve that."

Westmount principal Carol DeFehr says the school takes reports of bullying very seriously, and Positive Behaviour Intervention Systems (PBIS) are in place all year round. 

"We're only making them better citizens and adults in the long run," DeFehr said, "and that's ultimately the goal of public education: to make sure we are giving kids the tools they need to be good citizens in the future."

At Twin Rivers Education Centre students participated in the sixth annual Wellness Fair as part of Pink Shirt Day events. 

"If we can look after personal wellness students are going to feel better about themselves," said principal Kent Brewer, "and therefore they're not going to have that feeling that they need to sink someone else's ship to raise their own so to speak."

14 agencies attended the event to show students what kinds of supports are available. Supports that have gone a long way to help former student, Kalen Hutton, who volunteered to help out at Wednesday's event.

"I used to run away a lot as a child," Hutton said. "It was nice to know that there are programs where you can go to houses and establishments where they'll feed you, they'll keep you warm, they'll keep you safe."

Organizers of the Wellness Fair hope that by looking after student wellness, students will look after one another. 

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