Students at Prince Charles Public School in Napanee took a stand on Wednesday by participating in a nation-wide, anti-bullying event called Pink Shirt Day.
Grade 3 and 4 students at the school said they understood the significance of the event and wore their shirts with pride.
“Pink shirt day is all about stopping bullying,” Anna-Marie Gorman said.
Some kids say they support Pink Shirt Day because they’ve encountered bullying at least once.
“Somebody at school said they were throwing a stick at me because they were testing my reflexes. But I don’t think so. So when they threw the stick at me, I threw it away and walked away,” said Griffin Dorman, who is in Grade 3.
Eric Rushton, a volunteer at The Boys and Girls Club, can relate to such situations. He’s been bullied and knows the feeling it leaves behind. “It makes you feel kind of afraid of that area because of the thought that you may be bullied again.”
John Clement, a unit clerk from Providence Care Hospital, cautions that bullying can have long-term effects.
“A lot of our young admissions coming through the door these days have been bullied as a child and it just leads up into some mental health issues,” Clement said.
That’s one reason why the mental health facility decided to get involved in the Pink Shirt Initiative and raise money for educational programs at The Boys and Girls Club of Kingston and Area.
“We do have practical programs which address things like healthy relationships, and how to stay safe online,” said Devin Reynolds, manager of youth programs at Boys and Girls Club of Kingston.
The programs teach kids things like, how to respond if they witness bullying, or whom they can talk to if someone sends them a nasty message over the internet.
The programs in Kingston are part of a national movement. Last year, Pink Shirt Day supported programs that impacted more than 60,000 youth and children across Canada.