Safety and Inclusiveness – February Special Message
Posted on February 1, 2023
The nestled nature of the winter months mirrors the safety and security intimacy brings. It is no wonder that mid-Winter sees the celebration of love with Valentine’s Day and acceptance awareness days such as “Pink Shirt Day” acknowledged on February 23rd. February is also the month chosen to promote broader safety with Safer Internet Day recognized on February 8th.
Pink Shirt Day originated in Nova Scotia in 2007 resulting from the support of high school students supporting a peer who was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. Since that time, Pink Shirt Day has gained worldwide support representing more than anti-bullying. Pink Shirt Day brings awareness to stereotyping, gender bias, stigmas, and other unacceptable social issues.
Given the modern era of social media and internet, bullying in person and online are issues that can negatively impact the self-esteem and healthy development of youth. Education administrators can advocate for educators to create safe and accepting practices by having students partake in some of the following suggested activities by Pearson Canada Schools.
For students in grades K – 2, explain the meaning of bullying and its opposite – “kindness” in relation to feelings of happiness and sadness. Have students create drawings or sentences of how they can show kindness.
For students in grades 3 – 5, host discussions about bullying by asking questions such as:
What kind of bullying do children your age experience?
How do you think social media has contributed to bullying?
Do you think bullying is increasing or decreasing since the past few years?
How do you think our ancestors handled bullying?
After the discussion have students create a poster or word map for promoting kindness.
For students grades 6 -8, empower critical thinking and action by facilitating discussions about the following.
Why is Pink Shirt Day acknowledged worldwide?
What are the benefits, if any, for acknowledging Pink Shirt Day?
What are the long-term and short-term effects of bullying, for the person being bullied, the witnesses of bullying, and the community as a whole?
Encourage students to find expressive ways to promote Pink Shirt Day and its meaning, activities can include pink tie-dye shirts, pink sponge painting art, etc…. allow for creativity.
FNEAA Upcoming Events
November 8 & 9, 2023. SAVE THE DATE – FNEAA National Gathering Conference, Winnipeg, MB.
February 8rd 11:59 p.m. – Deadline for Storyteller’s Adisokewinini 2023 Awards.
February 15th – 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. EST – Gathering Circle Townhall “Youth and Knowledge Keepers”.
March 7th – 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. EST – Gathering Circle Townhall “Two-eyed Seeing”.
Pearson (n.d.) Special Days Calendar. “February 23 – Pink Shirt Day. Special Awareness Days”. www.pearsoncanadaschools.com