Kaipara korero | From the Kaipara College Principal’s Desk:

When the annual Pink Shirt Day rolled around last month, the Kaipara College team dove into our wardrobes and donned all the pink we could find to show our support for the message behind this campaign that promotes awareness of bullying and encourages people to show kindness.

Pink Shirt Day is an annual day of action against bullying and discrimination that originated in Canada in 2007. It was started by Grade 12 students David Shepherd and Travis Price who wanted to show their solidarity for a victim of bullying by wearing pink shirts. The day has since been adopted in New Zealand and other countries to help raise awareness of inclusion, tolerance and how to be an “Upstander”. Being an Upstander means if you see bullying or know that it’s happening, speak up, call it out and get help. Kaipara College students and staff got behind Pink Shirt Day this year as we do every year. Everyone can do something to stop bullying occurring at school and beyond.

At Kaipara College we have been learning that bullying can take many forms such as physical, verbal, social or online and that no type of bullying is OK. This helps us recognise when bullying is occurring and allows all of us to take responsibility for being tolerant of each other, celebrating the ways we are different, being inclusive in our behaviour and actions, and being kind.

The whakataukii for Pink Shirt Day is ‘Koorero Mai, Koorero Atu, Mauri Tuu, Mauri Ora’. Koorero Mai, Koorero Atu means “Speak Up”. There are two parts to this – speaking with your community to work out strategies for addressing bullying, and speaking up to request help when you need it. Mauri Tuu, Mauri Ora means “Stand Together” and refers to the difference we can make if we stand together to present a united front against bullying. The pops of pink we saw throughout the school on Pink Shirt Day show that people in Kaipara College are supportive of this message and are keen to “Speak Up, Stand Together, and Stop Bullying”

On Pink Shirt Day, everyone is encouraged to wear pink as a symbol of support for those who have experienced bullying or discrimination. By doing so, we can create a visible display of unity against bullying and send a powerful message that everyone deserves respect and acceptance regardless of their differences.

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