Pink Shirt Day is celebrated annually on Feb. 27 by wearing pink as a way to take a stand against bullying. (Natalia Balcerzak/Photo)

Celebrating Pink Shirt Day in Terrace

RCMP stopped by schools to hand out heart-shaped cookies in support

As part of Pink Shirt Day, which takes place annually across Canada on Feb. 27, the Skeena Middle School’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) group welcomed students to design their own pink shirts to express their thoughts against bullying.

“It’s just a way for them to connect and interact, anti-bullying day is something that all schools support but this is something that’s a little bit extra,” says Vanessa Gill, a resource/art teacher at Skeena Middle School. “It’s kind of nice to belong to something and it’s a message that they all support.”

The GSA group began at the Skeena Middle School four years ago as an initiative to create a safe space for students who may identify or feel differently in regards to gender. Gill says that it’s important for kids to know that this place exists if they need it.

READ MORE: Professor advocates for change in conversation for transgender youth

She adds that there are a few students that are part of the GSA that are transgender and currently transitioning, but they still regularly deal with negative reactions from some of their peers.

“It’s kind of shocking… Kids will call them their old name intentionally, in a form of hazing or bullying, and they really struggle with that. It’s hard because they’ve taken the courage to advocate for themselves and people aren’t supporting them.”

By bringing the GSA students together, Gill says that she’s focused on creating connections with them so they feel that they have someone to talk to and to help them understand they’re not alone.

“It makes it easier for them to know that we’re allies in the building… that there are people in the school who support, love and care about their rights,” she says. “I’ve had students come up to me in the hallway after they’ve experienced homophobia and they just want someone to hear it.”

READ MORE: Student creativity brings perspective to Caledonia cafeteria

RCMP Cst. Crystal Evelyn made a few visits to schools throughout Terrace to show her support of Pink Shirt Day. She says that she brought the heart-shaped cookies “to show the love” by letting young people know the RCMP are “safe people” they can always come to if they are in need of advice or guidance.

As an officer, she emphasizes that bullying is not tolerable and there is a criminal code that can be enforced. By speaking to young people, she says she hopes that kids take away the importance of being kind to one another and to not get caught up “trying to be cool” by laughing at somebody else’s expense.

“It’s easy to get sucked into that crowd mentality where you’re making fun of people and behaving in a manner that you’re going to regret later,” she says.”We want to make people to think twice before engaging in that behavior.”

For her, she says that she also enjoys hanging out with the students and that it means a lot to be present by showing an interest in their stories, especially since there are times when a person needs protection from themselves as well.

“We want to go out there and help people feel safe, that’s what anti-bullying is about — it’s about sticking up for that person who needs a hand.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Pacific Northwest Music Festival readies for their 54th year

Many entries this year in speech arts and public speaking

Terrace U14 Ringette team wins gold at BC Provincials

Coach says this season was an unexpected success for the players

Aussies buy majority stake in Red Chris mine

Company looks forward to relationship with Tahltan Nation

Slowed traffic on Kalum St. as crews replace telephone pole

Maintenance work expected to finish by tomorrow

Atlantis Taekwondo takes home 57 medals in Smithers’ tournament

Terrace made up the majority on the mat with 32 members

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Deadline extended through April to nominate top B.C. educators

Second year of Premier John Horgan’s awards offers $3,000 bursary

Paramedic staff shortage at critical level: B.C. union

A number of units were out of service due to lack of staffing in Lower Mainland, union says

B.C. lottery winner being sued by Surrey co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Fraser Health under fire again for taxiing homeless man from Langley to Hope

Patient sent to Hope shelter because a spot in the man’s home community couldn’t be located

Dead sea lion discovered on Hornby Island shoreline

Reports indicate animal was shot in the head

Celina Caesar-Chavannes quits Liberal caucus, sits as independent MP

The Whitby, Ont., MP has been a vocal supporter of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott

Woman punched on the sidelines of B.C. soccer game

Both involved were watching the U21 game in West Vancouver from the sidelines when things got heated

B.C. dairy farmers say federal budget not enough to cut losses from USMCA

Concerns raised over vague details, funding access and impacts on growth

Most Read