Being kind to one another was the gist of the message presented at schools throughout Estevan, as Wednesday marked Pink Shirt Day to spread awareness of bullying.
"We spend a lot of time in our classrooms talking about Pink Shirt day and the reason behind it, how it started, and the significance of wearing the pink shirt. It's really very simple, right across Canada, the initiative to treat others with respect and be treated with respect in return," shared Westview Principal Cheri Haberstock.
"We use the word 'bullying', but we talk about what bullying really is, and what that definition is. Sometimes, students think it's just someone being mean to them is bullying, and that's not the case. There's a very specific definition of bullying that we want the kids to understand, that it's targeted, there's a difference of power, and that it's repeated. We tell kids that you are your best advocate, you need to stand up for yourself, and if you see someone else being mistreated, you need to stand up for them as well."
6 year old Haylee Keays, in Grade 1 at Westview, turned out to be a very attentive listener in class and she revealed the history behind the special day.
"You're supposed to remember when this little boy was new to a school, and he got bullied because he was wearing pink. So then this other boy, he went to the store and bought a lot of pink shirts. Then, the next day, he gave them out and then he said, 'hey, bullies, we're all wearing pink. It's okay to wear pink if you want to.'"
When asked her perspective on why folks shouldn't pick on each other, she explained, "It's because you're being rude, and somebody's going to get hurt."
Over at Spruce Ridge, on the other side of the Energy City, similar conversations were had with students on the issue, and pink shirts were found aplenty.
"This morning in announcements, we talked about what Pink Shirt Day means, and obviously it's bullying awareness. My speech this morning was about making sure to do something good for somebody today," said Vice Principal Loni Hollingshead.
"Their job today was to do one good thing for another student in our school."
And the kids followed through.
"I picked up the balls at recess," said, Mason Gervais, while Connor Spencer chimed in, "I played with somebody else at recess, some of the kids that don't have friends, I played with them."
"I complemented on people's clothes," shared Arin Park, while Jersey Long added, "I helped my friend with her math."
Halley Adams had some advice for others, who may be looking for a way to bring a spark to someone.
"In the morning, if they look sad, you could say 'good morning' to them and ask them how their day's going. If they're sad, you can ask them what's wrong, if they're open to it."
This year's Pink Shirt Day theme and focus is the increasingly problematic cyber-bullying, with the slogan reading, 'Nice Needs No Filter.'