Get in the Pink and Make Bullying a Thing of the Past!

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“On Pink Shirt Day, Friday 20 May 2022, Aotearoa will be transformed into a sea of māwhero/pink as we stand together to spread aroha, celebrate diversity and end bullying!” (Pink Shirt Day Rangitahi toolkit resource)

Pink Shirt Day began in Canada in 2007 when two students took a stand against bullying after another year 9 student was harassed on his first day at the school for wearing pink. The bullies called him names for wearing pink and threatened to beat him up.

In Aotearoa, Pink Shirt Day has been run by the Mental Health Foundation since 2012. They work to reduce the impact of bullying behaviour and the harm it causes.

“By taking part in Pink Shirt Day, you become a part of a powerful movement to celebrate diversity and end bullying.”

Bullying at school is a serious issue for New Zealand young people. We have the dubious record of having the third highest rate of school bullying out of 36 OECD countries. 

happy birthday greeting card on green and red textileWhat Can I Do?

  • Wear pink! The brighter the better. Then if someone comments on your “out there” clothing choices, you can talk to them about why you love the colour pink and what it stands for. You don’t have to limit your pink wearing to just one day of the year. Pink is a beautiful colour and stopping bullying and heightening bullying awareness is a 24/7 mission!
  • Hold a Pink Shirt Day quiz with your friends or classmates. This helps create camaraderie as well as have some fun. A Pink Quiz starter is HERE but you could make your own quiz to share.
  • Create a kindness wall or white board in your class or at your school where you and your classmates can leave positive messages of hope. Photograph them and feature in your next school newsletter.
  • Become a RAKtivist. Did you know that New Zealand also celebrates a Random Acts of Kindness day on 1 September? But you can make every day a RAK day!

Some Handy Websites

Pink Shirt Day

Mental Health Foundation

Mental Health for Kids

Bullying Free NZ


Some Wellington City Libraries Kids’ Blog Links

Wellington pride festival blog

Keep Calm and Carry on with Mindfulness blog

Become a RAKtivist blog


Some Great Reading from the WCL Catalogue

How to beat bullying at school : simple steps to put an end to bullying.
“Unfortunately, bullying is one of the biggest problems for schoolchildren, and recent technological developments have only made things worse. But there is no need to suffer in silence! The best thing you – or your child – can do is to talk about it. Although it may seem that things will never get better, there are several effective ways to deal with bullies.” (Catalogue)
Bullying / Spilsbury, Louise
“Helping children to recognise [bullying] and know what to do about it. The … series encourages children to explore their emotions and discuss topics they may find difficult to understand. There are practical tips and activities as well as advice for parents and teachers”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)
Teasing isn’t funny : what to do about emotional bullying / Higgins, Melissa
“Jesse and the other animals at the bus stop make fun of Kelly’s fluffy fur and plain clothes. The constant teasing makes Kelly the cat feel sad. Young readers watch Kelly struggle with the teasing and learn safe ways to make it stop. Sensitive illustrations of gender-neutral animal characters help all children relate to the issue of emotional bullying.” (Catalogue)
You be you! : the kid’s guide to gender, sexuality, and family / Branfman, Jonathan
“You Be You! is an illustrated children’s book for ages 5 and up that makes gender identity, sexual orientation and family diversity easy to explain to children. Throughout the book kids learn that there are many kinds of people in the world and that diversity is something to be celebrated. It covers gender, romantic orientation, discrimination, intersectionality, privilege, and how to stand up for what’s right. With charming illustrations, clear explanations, and short sections that can be dipped in and out of, this book helps children think about how to create a kinder, more tolerant world.” (Catalogue)
Say something / Reynolds, Peter H.
“The world needs your voice. If you have a brilliant idea… say something! If you see an injustice… say something! In this empowering new picture book, beloved author Peter H. Reynolds explores the many ways that a single voice can make a difference. Each of us, each and every day, has the chance to say something: with our actions, our words, and our voice. Perfect for kid activists everywhere, this timely story reminds readers of the undeniable importance and power of their voice. There are so many ways to tell the world who you are… what you are thinking… and what you believe. And how you’ll make it better. The time is now: SAY SOMETHING!” (Catalogue)
Be who you are / Parr, Todd
“Picture book encouraging kids to be proud of what makes them unique, where they come from, and how they express themselves and see the world.” (Catalogue)
Be your own superhero / Meek, Laura
“A fun and practical guide of achievable micro-actions to help young readers feel more in control of their mental health, empowering them to grow their confidence and change the world for the better. Do you want someone else to help you out of a hard situation? Would you prefer another person swooped in and saved the day? I didn’t think so. You want to be a superhero. With this guide, you can. It’s full of activities to help develop your powers. It’ll teach you everything you need to know about growing your abilities, feeling happier and getting more confident. Written by child psychiatrist Dr Laura Meek, this fun and practical guide will empower young readers to become more aware of their own mental health and will help them to improve their confidence.” (Catalogue)
Wonder / Palacio, R. J
“August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school until now. He s about to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you ve ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he s just like them, despite appearances?R. J. Palacio has crafted an uplifting novel full of wonderfully realistic family interactions, lively school scenes, and writing that shines with spare emotional power. “Wonder” is a book with such a big, wide heart it shows how we are all fragile, imperfect, and perfectly beautiful creatures. A wonderful novel by a wonder of a writer! Julia Alvarez, author of “Return to Sender,” “Before We Were Free,” “Finding Miracles,” and the Tia Lola Stories”.” (Catalogue)

Pink is for boys / Pearlman, Robb
“A celebration of how colours are for everyone depicts characters engaging in their favourite activities.” (Catalogue)
Along came a different / McLaughlin, Tom
“Reds love being red. Yellows love being yellow. And Blues love being blue. The problem is that they just don’t like each other. Maybe being different doesn’t mean you can’t be friends… But one day, along comes a different colour who likes Reds, Yellows and Blues, and suddenly everything starts to change. A very special picture book that supports the adage that there is more that unites us than divides us. Along Came a Different just goes to show how much better we can all be when we come together to find common ground as friends.” (Catalogue)
Friendships and bullying / Head, Honor
“Kids can find the world we live in daunting and a bit scary. There’s just so much going on with climate change, social media and pressures to work out what it is you want to do in life – even at this young age! This book will help young readers explore some common areas of anxiety and conflict on the topic of FRIENDSHIPS and BULLYING in a fun and gentle way.” (Catalogue)

Wellington Pride Festival 13 – 27 March 2021

colorful rainbows photo, Textures, Candy, multi colored, large group of objects, full frame, backgrounds, abundance, variation, choice, no people, sphere, high angle view, indoors, still life, close-up, celebration, fun, shape, design, pattern, arts culture and entertainment, shiny, 4K, CC0, public domain, royalty freeThe Wellington Pride Festival | Tū Whakahīhī e Te Whanganui-ā-Tara is an annual two week festival, the beginnings of which started 34+ years ago! It’s a celebration of our LGBTQIA+ Community across Wellington.

Wellington Pride Festival traces its history back to the first Newtown Lesbian and Gay Fair in 1986, which was organised as part of the campaign for the Homosexual Law Reform Bill which passed on July 9th, 1986. This Act decriminalised relationships between men aged 16 and over, and meant that the gay community couldn’t be discriminated against.

Since then, Wellington has been home to rainbow festivals, parties, and other events which have celebrated, represented, and supported the LGBTQIA+ community, including adults, youth and children.


Did you know?

flag, gay, pride, various, blue, color, dom, green, lGBT, march, orange, purple, rainbow, red, yellow, multi colored, striped, day, group of people, people, outdoors, protection, nature, real people, patriotism, crowd, umbrella, incidental people, wind, 4K, CC0, public domain, royalty freeThe rainbow flag – the symbol of gay pride –  was created in 1978 by artist, designer, Vietnam War veteran Gilbert Baker. He was commissioned to create a flag for San Francisco’s annual pride parade.

“What I liked about the rainbow is that it fits all of us.
It’s all the colors.
It represents all the genders.
It represents all the races.
It’s the rainbow of humanity” – Gilbert Baker


Have you seen?

Image result for carmen rupe

Image: stuff.co.nz

Image result for carmen pedestrian traffic lights

Image: Wikipedia Commons

Have you noticed the pedestrian crossing images on traffic lights around Cuba Street, Wellington? Instead of the usual ‘green walking man’ they depict an image of Carmen Rupe, who was a tireless gay rights advocate and popular performer in and around Wellington. Carmen passed away in 2011 aged 75 years old.


Get Involved

National Schools Pride Week happens yearly in term 2. This year: 14 – 20 June 2021. This event is organised by Inside Out, which supports rainbow young people throughout Aotearoa to have a sense of belonging in their schools and communities.

Talk to your teacher, and register your school HERE


Some links:

Out on the Shelves – an online reading resource connecting rainbow young people with the stories that represent them.

Rainbow Youth – provide support, information, resources & advocacy for Aotearoa’s
queer, gender diverse, takatāpui and intersex youth.

Bullying Free NZ – LGBTQIA+

National Library of NZ – Queer History


Some reading:

Wellington City Libraries have loads of books and online resources about gender, sexuality, diversity and community acceptance. I simply typed in ‘GENDER JUVENILE’ into the the search engine and came up with seven pages of fiction, non-fiction, picture books, board books and e-books to chose from! Wellington City Libraries – Gender Juvenile

Book Jacket for: What Riley woreBook Jacket for: Princess KevinBook Jacket for: Understanding sexuality : what it means to be lesbian, gay or bisexualBook Jacket for: Pink is for boys

Wellington Pride: Rainbow Storytimes with Hugo Grrrl!

The Wellington Pride Festival | Tū Whakahīhī e Te Whanganui-ā-Tara is coming up this month, running from 13-27 March 2021, and as usual, Wellington City Libraries will be hosting a range of events to help celebrate Wellington’s LGBTQIA+ community! To help us celebrate, why not come along to our special Rainbow Storytimes at your local library?

Join Hugo and team for our magical Rainbow Storytimes at your local library!

Wellington icon Hugo Grrrl and his glitter-clad crew are coming out to Johnsonville, Karori, Kilbirnie and Te Awe Libraries to bring us special rainbow storytimes featuring stories, songs, and games celebrating love, acceptance, diversity, and inclusion. Children of all ages are welcome to attend with their caregivers — deck yourself out in your rainbow regalia, bring your teddies or unicorn plushies, and get ready to have a super awesome time!

Where and When?

Join us — we’d love to see you there, glitter and all! If you’d like more information about these events, please contact the Children’s and Youth Services Coordinator by emailing enquiries@wcl.govt.nz. Keep an eye out on our blog and on social media for more to come about Wellington Pride!

Top 6 Picture Books to read this month!

Hey kids! Check out these six awesome picture books in your local library! Featured in this post are picture books about kindness, diversity and acceptance.

Enjoy!

How to Two.

How to two, how to three, how to five, and so on, Learn how to count and work together as a team in this delightful picture book!

Good people everywhere.

A delightful story about good people and all the things they do. A great book to teach children about kindness, mindfulness and gratitude.

Hats are not for cats.

A delightful story about a dog who feels cats should not wear hats of any kind.
Bow-Wow-Meow!

A simple and delightful story about a dog, who thinks he is a cat. A librarian’s choice all the way.

Stardust : we always share the same sky.

Stardust explores the story of a girl and her mother in prison. They are unable to see each on a regular basis, but manage to find a unique way to feel connected through the sky and stars, which creates a sense of safety and love that allows the girl to focus on positive memories she has of her mum.


Day you begin.

A delightful story of two children who despite feeling like outsides come together and realising they are not alone in the world.