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Pink Shirt Day to battle school bullying

Tue 17 Feb 2009 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback View at NDHA

LGBT youth networks and teacher unions are joining forces to promote Pink Shirt Day next week, highlighting the serious problem of bullying in New Zealand schools. Wearing something pink will show your support on Wednesday 25 February. In December last year a major international report ranked New Zealand second worst among 37 countries when it comes to bullying in primary schools. The Safe Schools For Queers (SS4Q) network is working with teacher unions NZEI Te Riu Roa and PPTA Te Wehengarua to promote Pink Shirt Day in order to help make our schools safe for all students. SS4Q is a national network consisting of representatives from a range of organisations, and a number of individuals from the GLBTI communities, academics and other interested people working towards making schools safer for queer young people. "More must be done to stop physical and emotional violence and make our schools safe for all of our young people to learn in," say the SS4Q team. "One way we can do this is for the community to stand up and show that bullying is not OK. Schools cannot solve these problems alone." The first Pink Shirt Day took place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, when two 17 year old high school students decided to stand up for a friend who had been harassed for wearing a pink shirt to school. The boys, David Shepherd and Travis Price, decided that the bullying had to stop. They went to a discount store and bought 50 pink tank tops, sent out the message to schoolmates that night, and the next morning handed them to students to wear. When the bullied boy walked in, according to Travis Price, "It looked like a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders. The bullies were never heard from again." Find out more about Pink Shirt Day on the links below.    

Credit: Daily News Staff

First published: Tuesday, 17th February 2009 - 11:03pm

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