If you happen to be in and around towns, schools, government buildings, just about anywhere in the southwestern region of Newfoundland on Wednesday, Feb. 22 you would have noticed a similarity…PINK! Everywhere!
Under the Violence Prevention Initiative of the government of NL, local coordinating committees of Bay St. George Coalition to End Violence, Peaceful Communities and HELP Committee partnered with several organizations and schools to promote violence prevention in their respective communities.
While the month of February is Violence Prevention Month, schools recognize the third Wednesday of February as STAND UP day or Pink Shirt day. A day where students, faculty and staff wear pink shirts in support of standing up against bullying, instead of standing by; an idea that originated in Nova Scotia when two high school seniors donned pink shirts after a Grade 9 student was ridiculed for his choice of colored shirt.
Each school has its own creative way of promoting the idea. Like St. Bonafice All Grade School in Ramea whose
classrooms decorated their doors in a Violence Prevention theme. How about the Pie Contest that Burgeo Academy held integrating fun while educating on the importance of violence prevention. There are many ways to show support and kindness like students in Port aux Basques who, during their Random Acts of Kindness Week, wrote thank you letters to local first responders. Students at the College of the North Atlantic’s Paramedicine accessorized their uniform with pink bowties for the day. Staff and students of Keyin College-Western Campus sported their pink shirts.
Teaching our youth about the importance of violence prevention is vital, however, this issue is not just limited to the young. Violence knows no age limit, race or religion. Therefore, it’s great when you go to your local public health nurse’s office and see the staff in their pink shirts. Or when you drop by the local grocery store to pick up something for dinner and are offered a piece of cake, decorated in pink icing and pink balloons everywhere. In Stephenville, on a Monday night during the weekly bingo, patrons came dressed in pink clothing of all sorts, with one senior gentleman having gone as far as to have his granddaughter paint his fingernails pink. Businesses
windows and doorways welcomed customers with pink posters, decorations and merchandise during that day!
What an amazing feeling to know that Southwestern NL is taking a stance and STANDing UP to bullying and violence and refusing to stand by any longer. To quote singer/songwriter Sam Cooke, “Oh what a wonderful world it will be!” Together we will make it happen!
Check out our Facebook page to see many more pics of how pink southwestern Newfoundland got.