by Lucie Roy with Morinville News files
Morinville – Nearly two weeks after Morinville students shaved their pink hair for the Annual Hair Massacure cancer fundraiser, students were once again sporting the pink for the Annual Pink Shirt Day, an Anti-Bullying Awareness initiative that began in Nova Scotia in 2007 and has since spread across the country with some provinces taking part the last Wednesday in February, others on the second Thursday in September.
Local schools participated in the annual event in varying degrees.
Morinville Public Elementary School participated by having everyone wear pink and by having Sturgeon School Division Community Resources Coordinator Rebecca Balanko speak to some of the students about the various types of bullying, the reason behind the Pink Shirt Day movement and how to prevent and stop bullying.
At Georges H. Primeau School, teachers, students and staff participated by wearing pink shirts for their Anti-Bullying Day. Staff members and students each gathered for a Pink Picture. The anti-bullying awareness campaign was well received at Primeau with pink ribbons, cupcakes and active participation.
Morinville community High School halls were also populated with students and staff in pink; however, the focus of the day was on the school’s positive character building program. More than 100 MCHS students who were nominated for the HOWLS Program (Honour, Ownership, Welcoming, Leadership and Safety ) were recognized and treated to a pasta lunch cooked by the teachers and staff on Wednesday. The large group were those nominated for December, January and February. The student names are also entered in a draw for a $25 gift card. This is usually a monthly event but due to the Christmas break they got a little behind. The most students they have had nominated was in November with 248.
Wednesday evening saw roughly two dozen parents gather at Morinville Public Elementary School for a special presentation from Amanda Nixon of Saffron Centre Ltd., an organization “working to support the healing and empowerment of those who have been affected by trauma, abuse and sexual violence; and to promote change in attitudes, beliefs and social norms.”
Nixon’s two-hour presentation looked at a wide variety of social media platforms and the potential dangers they pose to youth and children. The informative and occasionally-amusing presentation generated many questions among the parents who attended.