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Burnaby students take a stand against bullying for Pink Shirt Day

Activities celebrating inclusion, diversity and kindness are planned throughout the Burnaby school district for Pink Shirt Day on Feb. 22.

Students at Burnaby schools are getting ready to break out pink shirts and take a stand against bullying next week.

Pink Shirt Day is on Feb. 22, and many local schools plan to mark the day with activities designed to celebrate inclusion, diversity and kindness.

“Pink Shirt Day reminds students that they can be who they are, encourage others to do the same, and stand up to name-calling, bullying or discrimination,” states a letter to parents from school board chair Bill Brassington and superintendent Gina Niccoli-Moen. “It’s an opportunity to explore the origins of the day and for meaningful discussion about allyship, empathy, recognizing harm, lifting each other up, and celebrating kindness.”

Pink Shirt Day started in 2007, when Nova Scotia teens David Shepherd and Travis Price organized a high school protest to wear pink in sympathy with a Grade 9 boy who was being bullied for wearing a pink shirt.

Since then, the idea has grown each year, with worldwide support and participation.

In Burnaby, expect to see students out and about on Feb. 22.

Kids from Stoney Creek, Lyndhurst and Cameron elementary schools are collaborating with The City of Lougheed mall on a large-scale display of student work, including Pink Shirt Day Poems and messages of strength and kindness.

Students will also be at the mall on Feb. 22 handing out messages of kindness as well as a few gift cards provided by the mall.

Burnaby North Secondary School students, meanwhile, have secured an Intentional Acts of Kindness grant and will be at Kensington Plaza to hand out flowers with positive notes attached.

Other schools will mark Pink Shirt Day internally with assemblies, lessons and other activities focused on kindness, acceptance and diversity, according to the school district.

Follow Cornelia Naylor on Twitter @CorNaylor