Speak Up. Stand Together. Stop Bullying.
That’s the message for our staff and students who will be donning pink today to support Pink Shirt Day, a campaign led by the Mental Health Foundation of NZ to raise awareness of bullying in schools and workplaces.
It is the third year running that ACG Tauranga will be supporting the cause, which aligns closely with the school’s values.
“It’s an important message to reinforce to our students,” said Sue Wood, Teacher of English and Year 9 Tutor. “Our values of respect and integrity encourage members of our school community to treat each other with kindness and to consider the impact of their behaviour on those around them. The campaign also focuses on what young people could do if they witness bullying and we believe this takes enormous courage – another of our core values.”
Our Year 8 students have been talking about bullying in Thinking Skills. They agreed that one of the most important things about bullying was taking responsibility.
“It’s a chance to re-think what you might consider to be funny and ask yourself – could this be hurtful, instead?” said Kiara Funnell. “It makes you aware of your own behaviour and realise how easily you can end up being a victim of hurtful things, even if you have engaged in some of it yourself in the past.”
While students and staff wore an item of pink and offered a gold coin donation on Pink Shirt Day in the hope of raising more than $150, they said awareness of bullying should last longer than one day.
“We need to recognise the significance of the day rather than seeing it as just another day when we wear pink and give money. It has to be more important than that,” explained Olivia Shields.
“Bullying can stop. But also not start,” Kiara said.