Pink Shirt Day
By Lucy Smith
On Friday the 20th of May 2022, Aotearoa was asked to Kōrero Mia, Kōrero Atu, Mauri Tu, Mauri Ora – Speak Up, Stand Together, Stop Bullying. Pink Shirt Day started in Canada in 2007 when two students took a stand against homophobic bullying and harassment that was taking place in their school because another student had come to school wearing a pink shirt. Pink shirt day then started being celebrated globally and Aotearoa has been participating since 2009. This year for Pink Shirt Day a group of students got together and organised a lunchtime full of events at school. This process was completely student led, although we had some amazing teachers that stood by us and helped us with whatever we needed. In preparation for this day, we spread awareness about bullying, put up posters, and spread the word about the events we were planning in the hope of getting everyone excited for the day. We planned many different things such as a bake sale (where students and teachers brought in baking), a sausage sizzle, candy floss (Onslow’s favorite for many years) and we also painted nails and faces pink! We had some awesome students volunteer to perform live music which created such a cool environment that everyone got to sing along to and enjoy. Onslow raised $631.92 which we donated to Pink Shirt Day who sent it to the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand. Because of the money that Aotearoa raised, the Mental Health Foundation is now able to fund more resources and workshops for thousands of schools and workplaces to promote inclusivity, diversity, and bullying prevention. Onslow had an awesome Pink Shirt Day this year and I hope that in the future Onslow students continue to work hard to make Onslow a safe space for everyone, and not just on Pink Shirt Day.