Actions speak louder than words. A wave of pink shirts, hip hop dance moves and music sent an important message at the school assembly Wednesday afternoon.
A group of kids and staff, gave up their lunch hours, to rehearse the steps, actions and positions in the large group for the first flashmob dance. The special dance was choreographed by teachers, Ms. Michelle Pigeon, Ms. Karla Sanderson and Mr. Steven Dinel and grade 11 student, Devin Cadrain and Kaeleigh Pasula.
“A lot of time has been spent working with students and teachers, kids have been very busy rehearsing during the lunch hour,” said Vice Principal Dwayne Mytrunec.
Anticipated for weeks, a group of students from grade one to five, scrambled to the center of the gym floor. The dance was performed in conjunction with “Pink Shirt Day,” an Anti-bully awareness day on Feb. 29.
Devin Cadrain, 17 years old, addressed the students, staff and parents.
“A bully is someone that makes others feel bad about themselves because they want to feel stronger, smarter – better. Nobody likes a bully; sometimes even a bully doesn’t even like themselves. Bullying is bad, we all see it and we all feel it. Why do people bully?” said Devin Cadrain.
“They may want to look cool or because their friends do it. It’s not ok and we all know it! Does it make you feel good, probably not?
Sometimes it’s a way to let our feelings out, sometimes we let it out on other people, but there is other ways, trust me. We can all be better by helping someone, comforting them, or telling them to ask for help. Always be there for your friends and seek an adult for help.
When you stand up to someone, whether they are your friend or not, you are making a difference – making them feel better, making you feel better, believe me. Nobody deserves to be bullied; all we need is kindness and sharing.
Fighting is nasty and it only gets worse as we get older; believe me, if we stop it not. Don’t hate, appreciate! If you are scared, love is so much stronger then hate. Keep smiling. All we need is love and peace.” – Devin Cadrain.
“Pink Shirt Day” was started by teenager friends, David Shepherd and Travis Price. The boys organized a high school protest to wear pink in sympathy with a Grade 9 boy who was being bullied. The youths took a stand against bullying when they protested against the harassment of a new student by distributing pink T-shirts to all the boys in their school.
‘I learned that two people can come up with an idea, run with it, and it can do wonders,’ says Mr. Price, 17. ‘Finally, someone stood up for a weaker kid.’
Mr. Shepherd, with the help of others purchased 50 pink tank tops at a discount store. They sent out messages to schoolmates that night, and the next morning they hauled the shirts to school in a plastic bag. As they stood in the foyer handing out the shirts, the bullied boy walked in. His face spoke volumes. ‘It looked like a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders,’ Mr. Price recalled.
Pink shirts are now being worn by thousands from coast to coast, as a symbol to stand up to bullying and continuing to make a difference.
Alarming statistics state, 1 in 5 Canadian youths are bullied in school, on the internet and via text messaging. The Canadian Red Cross offers these tips to help prevent bullying:
Bullying Tips for Kids:
- Take a stand. If you are being bullied keep your cool and walk away. Fighting back might make the problem worse.
- Don’t put yourself down. Stay focused on things that make you feel confident and proud of you.
- Get Support. Hang out with friends that support you and work together to speak out against bullying and harassment.
- Don’t cast yourself as a ‘victim’ for life. You may have been singled out in this situation, but that doesn’t mean it will always be that way.
- Cope with strong feelings of sadness or anger in a healthy way through sports, music, reading, or talking it out.
- Teach your children that if they see someone being bullied, they should not watch, laugh or join in.
- Work with your child’s school to educate others about the problem of bullying.
- Be a good example for your children. Model respectful behaviours at home and in your daily interactions.
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