The steps of the legislature welcomed the sounds and stories of students taking a stand against bullying as they took part in a Pink Shirt Day variety show today.
Premier Christy Clark welcomed student performers from Shoreline middle, Glenlyon Norfolk, and Reynolds secondary schools.
Performances included an aboriginal welcome, a spoken word poem that explored the relationship between introverts and the internet, and a skit promoting the importance of helpful bystanders. Travis Price, who originally established Pink Shirt Day, spoke about the importance of student safety.
“Pink Shirt Day is about standing up against bullying in our schools, communities and online,” said Premier Clark. “It takes courage to do your part to stop it, but by wearing pink, we are sending a clear message that bullying won’t be tolerated.”
Two secondary students from the ERASE Student Advisory co-emceed the show and also released social media guidelines to help students, teachers and parents use social media responsibility.
The ERASE Student Advisory is made up of 20 students from all over BC, representing public, independent and First Nations schools. They were selected to advise the Ministry of Education on bullying and student safety issues and develop social media guidelines.
“Through social media, today’s young people literally have the world at their thumbs and fingertips,” said Education Minister Peter Fassbender. “There’s no question that it is a powerful educational tool, but social media can also be easily misused. The reality is that these days, using it comes with great responsibility and I want to thank the students for these guidelines because they can be used by everyone.”
Today’s Pink Shirt Day was the eighth time the day has been acknowledged in B.C. It brings additional emphasis to B.C.’s ERASE Bullying Strategy (Expect Respect And a Safe Education).
ERASE Bullying is a 10-point comprehensive prevention and intervention strategy designed to address bullying and harmful behaviours in schools.
Launched in June 2012, the strategy also links with the BC Education Plan and focuses on personalized supports and interventions for students.
BC's Education Plan: http://www.bcedplan.ca/
For highlights of the ERASE Social Media Guidelines, visit: http://www.erasebullying.ca/assets/pdf/socia_media_guidelines_highlights.pdf
To read the Social Media Guidelines in full, visit: http://www.erasebullying.ca/assets/pdf/social_media_guidelines.pdf
The ERASE Bullying website continues to be a safe space online for students, parents and educators. To learn more about bullying prevention, visit: http://www.erasebullying.ca/
For more information on the progress on the ERASE strategy, visit: http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/downloads/ERASE_FACTSHEET.pdf
Office of the Premier
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education