by Jonas Gagnon
Last Wednesday local students took part in a nation-wide day to speak out against bullying by wearing pink.
“It goes over well with the kids,” said Jhenipher Bridgeman, a youth worker at FSJSS. “They like to support having a bully free environment.”
It is the third year that the high school has supported pink shirt day. This year, like years past, the school sold all 70 of the shirts they had ordered for the day.
It’s a problem a lot of youth have dealt with, making it something that a lot of students feel passionate about defeating.
“My sister gets picked on a lot in elementary school,” said Kelsey Gross, a student at FSJSS, when asked why she was wearing a pink shirt.
“I’ve had to deal with it my whole life,” said Cheyenne Vandrishe, when asked the same question.
And as life for youth moves more into the technological realm, the old vice of bullying has followed them.
“We find a lot of bullying on Facebook or texting-that’s one of the bigger issues,” said Bridgeman.
It’s not just confined to kids and their media devices either according to Bridgeman. As a result it will take more than just a single day at a school to defeat bullying.
“It takes a community to make it happen,” said Bridgeman.
The community in Fort St. James is working to make it happen.
The Nak’azdli youth council decided to localise pink shirt day.
“They were inspired by hearing about the actions on the east coast (where pink shirt day began),” said Kerry Buck, youth coordinator for the band.
So the youth council decided to design their own shirts (the student in the middle in the picture above is wearing one). Local artist Francis Prince designed the logo. In both pink, for pink shirt day and blue, for bullying awareness week, the shirts offer a localised protest to bullying.
No matter how successful pink shirt day is, the fight goes on all year.
“All year long we do things to address this situation, not just this one day,” said Bridgeman.