On the 26 May 2017 Tauranga Girls College celebrated Pink Shirt Day and Speak Up, Stand Together and Stop Bullying.
Pink Shirt Day aims to create schools and communities where all people feel safe, valued and respected regardless of age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, or cultural background. Tauranga Girls College will be creating a ‘Chain of Positivity’ and encouraging staff and students to wear a plain pink t-shirt to mark the occasion on Friday.
The Chain of Positivity is a way of celebrating diversity and addressing bullying on Pink Shirt Day and every day. “Pink Shirt Day provides us with a platform to raise awareness and understanding of this serious issue and take action to address it, all while having a lot of fun.” According to Mental Health Foundation Chief Executive, Shaun Robinson, bullying is a significant problem in New Zealand and can have serious and ongoing impacts on mental health and wellbeing. “We know that students who are bullied are more likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety and avoid going to school. In the workplace, bullying harms workers’ health, wellbeing and ability to do their job.” “While all young people can be the target of bullying, some groups experience higher rates such as those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI).” “It is a serious problem, but by speaking up, standing together and saying no to bullying, we can bring about change.”
Pink Shirt Day is an annual global event which began in Canada in 2007 when two students took a stand against homophobic bullying after a peer was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. The NZ Pink Shirt Day campaign is led by the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand with support from The Peace Foundation, RainbowYOUTH, InsideOUT, New Zealand Post Primary Teachers’ Association, Youthline and Family Works.
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