Pink Shirt Day and the Culture of Inclusion at SJS
Wednesday was Pink Shirt Day at SJS, a day to raise awareness of bullying as well as raise funds to support programmes that foster children’s healthy self-esteem. This year, the theme of Pink Shirt Day centred on being an active bystander - someone who not only witnesses a situation, but takes steps to speak up or step in to keep a situation from escalating or to disrupt a problematic situation.
The message of Pink Shirt Day aligns strongly with the values of St. John's School, which includes creating a caring and inclusive community and a culture of kindness and empathy as well as being mindful of our emotions and the personal health of others.
To further strengthen these values, SJS staff and faculty have been participating in a variety of professional development sessions with Mr. Alden Habacon over the past year. These sessions have covered Inclusion Literacy, Unconscious Bias and How to be an Active Bystander.
In keeping with our commitment to supporting our students in a consistent manner, both at home and at school, the SJS counsellors will be facilitating an upcoming Parent Education Session with Mr. Habacon.
In the Junior School, students participated in a post-it note mural where they shared stories of times they stood up for themselves or others to unkind behaviours. They also wrote words about what it takes to be a great friend. The post-it notes combined created heart shaped collage.
Students in the Art for a Cause club put together a Zentangle Colouring Book for classes to add to their Wellness Kits they were given in December. This can help students take a break if they are feeling upset or frustrated. As a way of lifting each other up, each class was given the colouring book on Pink Shirt Day to spread positivity and love.
In the Senior School, the Grade 7 Leadership students created morning lessons for students in Grade 6-12 that centred on the concepts of equality, equity and justice. They encouraged their peers to think about systemic barriers. Our GSA created a morning Kahoot activity that reviewed all of last week's activities and lessons that focused on being an active bystander and other SOGI-related concepts.