Pink shirts to battle bullying in Winnipeg schools

Thousands of Manitobans were pretty in pink Wednesday for national Pink Day, the Canadian Red Cross' anti-bullying initiative. Ten workplaces and more than 200 schools took part.

Thousands wore pink to show support for Canadian Red Cross anti-bullying initiative.

Thousands of Manitobans were sporting pink shirts today for the annual Canadian Red Cross National Pink Shirt day. Ten workplaces and over 200 schools in the province were registered to participate in the annual anti bullying awareness campaign. 2:06

Thousands of Manitobans were pretty in pink Wednesday for national Pink Day, the Canadian Red Cross' anti-bullying initiative. 

Almost 300 staff and students at Lord Selkirk Elementary School got involved for the first time this year. Teachers were excited to bring the message to students.

"We have a very diverse, fabulous group of kids and they treat each other so kindly and we want that to continue throughout their school years and through their lives," said arts teacher Charlotte Cook-Dowsett. 

The nursery to Grade 6 school students were treated to live music and some piled up to build a human pyramid.

Students posted pink slips of paper along the hallway walls.  Each note contained a student's promise to stop bullying.

Nursery to grade 6 six students at Lord Selkirk lined the walls of the schools hallways with pink pledges. Each student took the time to write out a promise on what they could do to help stop bullying. (Brett Purdy)

Eleven-year-old Grade 6 student Quennie Ritual shared what Pink Day means to her.

"It's about standing up to bullies and not being a bystander and just being brave. Being yourself. Not being afraid of what others would think about it because you are just you," said Ritual.

Nicholas Kemble was teased in younger grades for being too tall. That prompted him to dye his hair pink to mark the day.

"I've been bullied a couple of times before and I really don't like it. I guess I went ahead and dyed my hair because I really like the idea of stopping bullying," said Kemble.

Cook-Dowsett said bullied students suffer emotionally and academically.

 "How can your mind be open to learning? It's not going to be," said Cook-Dowsett.

Grade 6 students at Lord Selkirk School participate in a 'hoop-a-thon' during the schools first Pink Shirt Day. (CBC)

This is the first of two Pink Days scheduled this year.  The next one is April 13, which is the internationally recognized date for the event.