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Pink shirt day at PRSD celebrates diversity and taking a stand against bullying

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On Feb. 24, Peace River School Division (PRSD) will be recognizing in solidarity Pink Shirt Day. Pink Shirt Day promotes taking a stand against bullying and celebrating diversity.

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Creating a safe and caring environment has always been a top priority for PRSD. Board chair Darren Kuester added that the district has always taken great pride in their safe and caring commitment. PRSD receives an annual report card from the province, and one of the accountability pillars is how parents, students, and staff feel that the PRSD provides a safe and caring learning environment.

“We’ve always ranked in the 90% on that one. I think that’s something we take a lot of pride in, and we work hard at fostering that and inclusiveness,” said Kuester. “Pink Shirt Day is just, you know, one more day to that we can, you know, bring to the forefront stand united and support healthy relationships, wellness, and diversity.”

Pink Shirt Day, which is celebrated annually around the world aligns with the values of PRSD. Pink Shirt Day began in Canada in 2007. This initiative began in a small town in Nove Scotia and after two students decided to take a stand against homophobic bullying as a young boy was bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school.

Kuester explained that it is really important that PRSD takes part in this every year and that promoting diversity is essential.

“It’s something that I think, is very important for a healthy community. And we get a lot of support from our communities,” Kuester said. “And from our school communities and our greater communities, in supporting our students in their healthy relationships and wellness and diversity.”

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Kuester further added that many schools throughout the PRSD have Gay Straight alliances and that there is a huge student participation.

“I guess the empathy of students when it comes to helping each other is always heartwarming for me to see as a board chair,” said Kuester. “I support these sorts of things and commend our students for taking a lot of leadership in this sort of stuff.”

On behalf of the PRSD, Kuester wanted to further thank the communities of PRSD for all their support. He added that the division greatly appreciates the involvement of various agencies that help promote initiatives such as Pink Shirt Day.

“There are a lot of things that happen in our schools with respect to wellness and diversity,” said Kuester. “Such as support workers, success coaches, mentorship programs, and a lot of that wouldn’t be possible without help from the greater community and municipalities.”

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