Initiatives have made a difference, says vice-principal
PARRSBORO – Students here were awash in a sea of pink here on Wednesday, as Parrsboro Regional Elementary School joined others across the country in taking part in National Pink Shirt Day.
The day was one of many initiatives the school takes part in throughout the year to demonstrate its intolerance of bullying behavior, and long-time vice-principal Norma Collinson said progress is being made.
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Parrsboro Regional Elementary School took part in National Pink Shirt Day on Feb. 26, with students and staff wearing pink to show their commitment against bullying behaviour.
“When they have pink shirt day, it’s just a reminder of the importance and influence students can show through their actions,” she said. “It’s an age-appropriate process and it takes awhile for kids.”
Every child is different developmentally, but none are too young to receive the anti-bullying message, according to Collinson, who said it starts with conversations at home even before the child begins school.
It is really important to talk to children about being respectful, and it is behaviour they model at the school, she said.
While she does not believe her school has a bullying problem, it is still something they watch out for and deal with on a daily basis.
“If we know about it, we can deal with it,” said Collinson. “I don’t think it’s a huge problem here. Some of what we see is pretty typical of kids learning how to interact with others, and wanting to belong to a group. I don’t see it as a huge issue, but I don’t think we can ever eradicate it.”
Initiatives such as National Pink Shirt Day (and the provincial Stand Up Aghainst Bullying Day celebrated in September), as well as the Stand Up Speak Out campaign launched this year, have had a positive impact, as has the Positive Effective Behaviour Support (PEB) program, she said.
“It takes everyone and it takes a long time, but I have seen really nice changes with our children over time,” she said. “It’s about showing respect and feeling good about yourself. It’s a parent’s job and an educator’s job. We have to work together.”