BUCHANS, NL – Resilience was the theme of this year’s Pink Shirt Day at Lakeside Academy in Buchans, and teacher Jennifer Perry and her co-workers wanted students to understand what it means to be resilient in the face of bullying.
“Pink Shirt Day is about anti-bullying or bringing awareness to bullying,” said Perry. “But we've done pink day for a few years and bullying is really not going away – which is sad.”
If bullying is not going away, students need to learn how to become resilient, Perry said. She spoke of how teachers also have to learn these skills to cope with negative feedback within their jobs.
Sometimes a person just needs to take a break, take a deep breath, talk about it and start again, she said.
Const. Camille Bryan from the Grand Falls-Windsor RCMP spoke to the students about how she deals with tough situations in her job.
When she is spoken to or treated badly, she said, it is because the person delivering the nastiness is reacting to their own situation. She said she has learned over time that “it isn't about me, it's about them.”
Bryan asked the students what they do to feel happy when they feel down or have been bullied. Answers varied from napping, going outside to play, snowmobiling, reading and using computers.
Other ideas include physical exercise, building teamwork and problem solving – skills Perry had in mind for the morning of Pink Shirt Day.
Two participants in the recent Lions Speak-Out read their speeches and their ideas on anti-bullying were on point. By speaking out about their feelings they were building their self-confidence, said Perry.
Students also listened to inspirational videos, did a three-minute guided meditation, danced the Zumba, exercised at stations around the gym, and participated in a teamwork-guided game called “Escape Room.”