NWT students promote anti-bullying by wearing pink

Students filled the legislative assembly Wednesday afternoon to celebrate Pink Shirt Day. (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi/Moose FM.)
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Students from NWT schools donned pink Wednesday, all in the name of ending bullying.

It was annual Pink Shirt Day across Canada, a T-shirt campaign that raises money for anti-bullying initiatives.

In Yellowknife, students from Mildred Hall School, J.H. Sissons School and William McDonald Middle School crowded into the legislature to make presentations and share their personal experiences with bullying.

“It’s important to empower our students to speak up against bullying,” said Northwest Territories Education Minister Alfred Moses.

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“Bullying is still alive in our school systems, in our communities, and it does need to be addressed and people do need to speak up.

Minister Alfred Moses, left, and organizer Jack Bourassa.

“[Pink Shirt Day] is to recognize that bullying needs to stop, not only in our schools but right across the NWT.”

Wednesday’s event was to raise awareness says Jack Bourassa, regional executive vice-president with the Public Service Alliance of Canada North, who helped organize the event.

“The idea is to make things better,” he said.

“The more people who are aware of the issue and the tools they can bring to bare to help alleviate some of the problems, then hopefully fewer people will have to endure the kind of bullying that a lot of people have over the years.”

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From left to right: Grade four students April Heaton-Vecsei, Chizuko Robson-Hamilton and Shaeden Wahshee-Letts from J.H. Sissons outside the legislative assembly.

For J.H. Sissons fourth-grader April Heaton-Vecsei, what she liked most about the event was hearing from different schools. What she doesn’t like is bullying.

“It’s sad and not good,” she said.

Her classmates agreed.

“I’ve seen people being mean to people just because they’re different, and I’ve seen people being called names and stuff. I don’t really like it,” said fellow fourth-grader Shaeden Wahshee-Letts.

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Their classmate Chizuko Robson-Hamilton said she would stand up for someone if she saw them being bullied.

“I would talk to the person who [was being a bully] and be like ‘That’s not very nice, could you please stop doing that to the other person’,” she said.

“They probably shouldn’t do that, but they probably have a reason they’re doing it, if something happened to them or they’re getting bullied that’s probably why they’re doing it.”

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