- Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB) - http://www.hpedsb.on.ca -

Secondary school students rally for Anti-hate Day event

UPDATE April 15, 2011: Trenton High event is featured in the community [1].

Students at two area secondary schools are committed to creating a welcoming community and environment for all. They are planning the 3rd Annual Anti-hate Day to take a stand against discrimination of all types.

DATE: Friday, April 15, 2011
TIME: 1:00 p.m.
Trenton High School, 15 Fourth Avenue, Trenton
Prince Edward Collegiate Institute, 41 Barker Street, Picton

The event will include a video conference with Prince Edward Collegiate Institute, a video tribute to those who have lost their lives, as well as a special guest speaker, Mike Neuts, who lost his son to a bullying incident at school.

Submitted by Teacher Allison Culkin, Social Science/Canadian World Studies, with input from Teachers Jen Cotnam, Brianne Tripp and Cathy Wilson from Prince Edward Collegiate Institute.

Trenton High held the first Anti-hate Day in 2009 on a small scale. About about 80 students purchased white T-shirts with the word ‘hate’ crossed out on the front. A small celebration was held in the cafeteria with a band and some snacks. Last year pink T-shirts were sold to coincide with International Pink Shirt Day. Students could purchase a T-shirt as well as a vow card which symbolized their pledge to take a vow of silence for the entire day of school. The vow represents the silence that many students who are bullied feel they are forced to endure each and every day. At an assembly at the end of the day,  260 students and staff had purchased shirts and 80 students had taken the vow of silence. A tribute video was shown as a memorial to students who had taken their own life because of the bullying, homophobia and discrimination they had faced.

About three years ago I wanted to start an Anti-Hate Day here at school. I did some research on International Pink Day and was inspired by a story that took place at a Nova Scotia school, where a young boy had worn a pink shirt and was bullied and harassed the entire school day because of it. Upon learning this, two Grade 12 boys went to a local store and bought 50 pink T-shirts for themselves and their friends. The group of friends decided to wear the pink shirts to school the next day in an effort to stand up and send a message about bullying. The local media got wind of the event and soon it became national news.
International Pink Shirt Day against discrimination was declared for April 14 and soon organizations all across Canada began to affirm their participation.

"To date, we have officially purchased close to 1,200 pink shirts for the day. Our community will truly be a sea of pink support on Friday, April 15, 2011. It is our hope that with continued effort we can have International Pink Day declared an official day throughout the entire  HPEDSB community," remarked Allison Culkin.

This year not only are we thrilled to have Prince Edward Collegiate Institute in Picton joining us, but we also have community organizations including the following:

The Toronto District School Board declared its annual participation two years ago and believes that Day of Pink is more than just a symbol of a shared belief in celebrating diversity, it’s also a commitment to being open minded, to being understanding of differences and to learning to respect each other.

For information, please contact:

Kerry Donnell, Communications Officer, 613.966.1170 or 1 800 267.4350, extension 2354, [email protected]